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Amela Zanačić

Amela Zanačić

Flight Systems Implementation Branch Chief and Deputy Division Chief of the Space Biosciences Division, Ames Research Center

Phone: (650) 495-5187
Organization: Flight Systems Implementation Branch (Code SCF)

Professional Background

Amela Zanačić is the Branch Chief of the Flight Systems Implementation Branch in the Space Biosciences Division. Her branch develops, implements, and operates bioscience payloads for the International Space Station and Beyond LEO.

Amela began her career with NASA as a contractor performing fluid dynamics research at the Fluid Mechanics Lab and serving as a Test Manager/Test Engineer at the Unitary Plan Wind Tunnel at NASA Ames Research Center. After leaving NASA Ames to pursue her Master’s degree, Amela worked in the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) field for the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). As a Flight Test Director at NAVAIR, Amela led and performed developmental flight testing for a large high-altitude long endurance (HALE) UAS. At the FAA, as a Program Manager in the NextGen Office and as a Technical Projects Lead in the UAS Integration Office, Amela oversaw the formulation and execution of UAS R&D projects and ensured that they aligned with the overall FAA UAS Integration strategy.

Upon returning to NASA, Amela became the Project Manager for the Affordable Vehicle Avionics (AVA) and the Starling spaceflight projects before becoming the Branch Chief of Code SCF.

Amela received her B.S. in Aerospace Engineering and B.A. in English from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She also holds a M.A. in International Affairs, with a concentration in International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.