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Robert Conway

Deputy Director, NASA Safety Center

Capt. Robert Conway (U.S. Navy, retired) is the deputy director of the NASA Safety Center (NSC), located at NASA Glenn Research Center. In this position, he works with the director to enable more effective and efficient Safety and Mission Assurance support for NASA’s portfolio of programs and projects by managing the NSC’s activities in knowledge sharing and analysis, technical excellence, and assessments and investigations.

Prior to assuming this role, Conway worked in the civilian sector as the manager of Quality Engineering for Worldwide Safety and Health at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, from 2012 to 2019. He and his team of 14 multi-disciplined engineers drove the technical safety oversight and auditing of the engineering, maintenance and operations organizations for all Walt Disney World attractions, transportation systems, entertainment venues, facility life-safety systems and resort recreation venues.

Conway was also a member of the NASA Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel from 2012 to 2016; in this role he evaluated various NASA programs and, with his Naval Aviation Safety background, was the lead panel representative to the NASA Aircraft Mission Directorate.

After his commissioning as an ensign, Conway served in the U.S. Navy through his retirement in 2012. Earning his Naval Aviator wings as a helicopter pilot in 1986, he transitioned to the SH-3H Sea King and served with the Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron FIFTEEN Red lions through 1989 when he became an instructor pilot with the Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron ONE Seahorses through 1992. Following this tour, he served on the USS Saratoga (CV -60) as a catapult and arresting gear officer from 1992 to 1994. Conway served as the head of the Safety, Training and Operations departments with the Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron FIFTEEN Red lions from 1997 to 1999 and then served as the officer-in-charge of the Helicopter Anti-Submarine Wing, Pacific Weapons and Tactics School until 2002. Selected for squadron command, he then served as executive officer and commanding officer of the Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron FIVE Nightdippers from 2002 to 2005, when he transferred to the USS Nimitz (CVN-68) and served as navigator until 2007.

From 2007 through 2012, Conway’s Navy career was safety focused. He served as the commander, Naval Air Forces assistant chief of staff (safety) from 2007 to 2009, where he was the senior director and principal advisor to the commander, Naval Air Forces for the Navy’s flight and ground safety management systems to include mishap and near miss analysis and trends, mishap investigation program oversight, industrial hygiene and safety program audits for all Navy aviation and related activities. In 2010, Conway reported as the director of the School of Naval Aviation Safety where he maintained oversight of the operations, research, consulting and curricula of this world-renowned institution that taught safety program management, crew resource management, Root Cause Analysis, accident investigation, organizational culture excellence, Risk Management, ergonomics, Human Factors and safety leadership excellence. In addition to his responsibilities with the schoolhouse, Conway was also an adjunct faculty member of the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide Campus in Pensacola, Florida, teaching courses in aviation engineering, Aviation Safety and physics.

Conway earned his Master of Science degree in aeronautical engineering at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, in 1994. His military and public service awards include the Navy Achievement Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (three awards), Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Legion of Merit (two awards) and NASA Exceptional Public Service Award as well as various, U.S. Navy unit excellence and campaign awards.