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NASA, US Department of Commerce Expand Minority Business Efforts

NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy speaks with Under Secretary of Commerce for Minority Business Development, Donald Cravins, Jr., Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023, at the Mary W. Jackson NASA Headquarters building in Washington.
NASA/Aubrey Gemignani

NASA and the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Dec. 28, 2023, to help connect minority businesses to NASA acquisition and development opportunities. Outreach efforts will focus on engaging both minority and other underserved businesses.

With a term of three years, the MOU enables the continuous efforts of both agencies’ longstanding partnership to foster, promote, and develop the nation’s minority business enterprises in the aerospace industry, and highlights the Biden-Harris Administration’s economic investments in the sector. NASA and MBDA have a history of collaboration; this further solidifies a partnership to work towards mitigating barriers to equity.

“At NASA, we explore for the benefit of all humanity, and as we venture deeper into the cosmos, we are dedicated to developing partnerships that bring diverse perspectives and talent to the forefront,” said NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy. “Creating equitable and inclusive opportunities allows everyone to experience the strategic and economic advantages of exploring space.”

Under the terms of the agreement, the agencies will work together to highlight subject-matter experts within the federal government and private sector who can support initiatives to help minority business enterprises seeking NASA acquisition opportunities. The Minority Development Business Agency will use its network of business centers and programs to promote these opportunities with NASA.

“The Minority Business Development Agency is collaborating with NASA to ensure minority and other underserved businesses have the opportunities to help humanity explore worlds beyond our own,” said Donald Cravins, Jr., Under Secretary of Commerce for Minority Business Development. “Through this collaboration, MBDA will work closely with NASA to identify aerospace industry initiatives, support outreach efforts, and foster federal partnership opportunities for the businesses we serve. As opportunities in the aerospace industry continue to expand to new frontiers, MBDA is committed to helping guide federal investments with equity and intention.”

Through this effort, NASA and MBDA aim to boost equitable participation of minority businesses in aerospace technology and scientific discovery by identifying and addressing barriers and policy gaps.

Learn more about NASA’s Office of Small Business Programs at:


Amber Jacobson / Roxana Bardan
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