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HOUSTON, Texas — Vanessa Wyche is now the first Black woman to lead a NASA center.

Wyche, a 31-year NASA veteran, has served as acting director of Johnson Space Center since May 3, but now the appointment is official.

“I’m humbled and honored to be chosen to lead the more than 10,000 employees at Johnson Space Center, who work each day to enhance scientific and technological knowledge via space exploration to benefit all of humankind,” Wyche said. “I look forward to working with everyone as we push forward to the Moon and inspire a new generation of explorers to reach for the stars.”

Prior to her appointment as deputy director in 2018, Wyche served as Johnson’s assistant center director, worked in the executive office of the NASA administrator, a flight manager for multiple space shuttle missions, and led other center-level technical and program organizations.

Wyche is a native of South Carolina and earned a Bachelor of Science in engineering and Master of Science in bioengineering from Clemson.