Hall Center For The Humanities


Eileen Hawley
Business Retention and Marketing Manager for the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce

The Voice of NASA's Mission Control: Eileen Hawley
New Generation Society of Lawrence (NGSL members only)

Wed., Nov. 17, 2010, 9:00am - 10:00am
Location: KU Continuing Education Building

The "Voice of NASA's Mission Control," an experienced communicator, and an astronaut's wife, Eileen Hawley has seen the space program from a perspective few others enjoy, living both the private and public sides of human spaceflight. As the wife of an astronaut, she understands what motivates people to push the boundaries of exploration. And what that means to those who wait at home while their loved ones circle the globe.

She is an experienced communicator with a wide range of experience, including 15 years leading communications efforts at NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas. Prior to moving to Houston and joining NASA, she worked for Hughes Aircraft and Wyle Laboratories in California. She and her husband Steve, a five-time Space Shuttle astronaut and Kansas native, now live in Lawrence.

At NASA she was a key advisor to senior leadership during times of crisis including the loss of the Shuttle Columbia in 2003, developing communication strategies to respond to those situations. Eileen was the director of External Relations at JSC, leading an office that encompassed communications and public affairs, media relations, education outreach, government relations, speaker's bureau and volunteer activities as well as protocol and VIP guest relations. She worked in the famous Mission Control Center in Houston, as the "voice of Mission Control" for more than 40 Space Shuttle and Space Station Missions, including John Glenn's historic return to space in 1998. She also worked with numerous film and production companies on major movies including Apollo 13 and Space Cowboys.

Eileen has won numerous awards including being named an Honorary Kansan in 1999, an Emmy from the Midwestern Regional Emmy Awards, Ohio Chapter, for coverage of the John Glenn Space Shuttle mission, and in 2008 received NASA's Outstanding Leadership Medal recognizing her role in enhancing NASA's communications efforts.

She holds a Bachelor's degree in media studies from the University of Houston, Clear Lake and a Master's degree in Strategic Communications and Leadership from Seton Hall University. Eileen currently is the Business Retention and Marketing Manager for the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce and is a lecturer in the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Kansas.

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