Press Release - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Dr. Ezinne Uzo-Okoro (MPA '21) Joins the Belfer Center and Defense, Emerging Technology, and Strategy Program as Senior Fellow

| Apr. 29, 2024

Cambridge, MA – April 29,2024 – The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School is proud to announce that  Dr. Ezinne Uzo-Okoro, former Assistant Director for Space Policy at the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, will be a Senior Fellow. Uzo-Okoro, a world-renowned expert in space policy and technologies, will be a significant asset to the Belfer Center and the broader Harvard Community. 

Dr. Ezinne Uzo-Okoro Headshot in DC

Dr. Uzo-Okoro has more than 20 years of U.S. government service. As the Assistant Director for Space Policy at the White House, she led efforts to advance the nation’s commercial space launch capabilities, mitigate the risk of space debris, and facilitate innovative approaches to on-orbit manufacturing facilities. Dr. Uzo-Okoro has dedicated her professional career to public service. She previously served at NASA, where she managed or contributed to over 60 space missions and programs. 

"Dr. Uzo-Okoro stands among the most remarkable leaders and visionaries in the fields of space and technology policy. The Belfer Center and the DETS program are incredibly fortunate to have her intellect and vibrant spirit at the Kennedy School," said Eric Rosenbach, Senior Lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School and Director, Defense, Emerging Technology, and Strategy Program

Uzo-Okoro returns to HKS after completing the MPA program in 2021. In 2022, she made history as the first Black woman to earn a doctorate in aeronautics and astronautics from MIT. At MIT, Uzo-Okoro focused on “in-space satellite servicing, assembly, and manufacturing,” terms she originated herself. She is credited with expanding the existing field of on-orbit space services and ushered in a strategic vision and action plan for the United States to lead in universal innovative capabilities. Uzo-Okoro’s expertise in technology and science underscores a fundamental principle we uphold at the Belfer Center and HKS: policymakers must understand the technology to craft effective technology policy.  Uzo-Okoro also holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and two M.S. degrees from MIT and Johns Hopkins.

Uzo-Okoro’s impact isn’t limited to the United States. Globally, her work on orbital debris, space technologies, and space weather policies has served as a blueprint for space agencies in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Originally from Nigeria, Uzo-Okoro devised the first-ever Space Forum at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit and facilitated the first African nations – Rwanda and Nigeria – to join the U.S.-led set of space sustainability principles. Her appointment highlights the Belfer Center’s commitment to promoting excellence in crafting technology policy on a national and global level.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:Dr. Ezinne Uzo-Okoro (MPA '21) Joins the Belfer Center and Defense, Emerging Technology, and Strategy Program as Senior Fellow.” Press Release, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, April 29, 2024.

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