As the newly appointed director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab, Dr. Dava Newman – rocket scientist-engineer, inventor, author and global explorer – is a rare expert who offers leaders an up-close view of the future of emerging technologies that will change how we live, work and play. An interdisciplinary leader, longtime MIT educator and former NASA Deputy Administrator (the first woman engineer to serve in that role), Newman helps organizations in every sector prepare for the exciting changes ahead in such areas as artificial intelligence, engineering, design, biomedical research, and wearable technologies. Her framework for innovation, developed and deployed at NASA, helps organizations create technologies that enhance society in a variety of areas, from healthcare and entertainment to sustainability and social justice.

In addition to holding numerous design and compression technology patents, Newman is the author of Interactive Aerospace Engineering and Design, an introductory engineering design textbook. She has published more than 300 papers in journals, supervised 90 graduate student theses, and supervised and mentored over 200 undergraduate researchers.

Newman has received honors from entities including, but not limited to, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and the Explorer’s Club. She is an AIAA Fellow and, separately, was named a Margaret MacVicar Faculty Fellow in the year 2000, which is a distinguished 10-year MIT chair “granted for excellence in undergraduate teaching and innovation in education.