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Tonya McNair, Deputy Associate Administrator for Management of Space Operations

Tonya McNair

Deputy Associate Administrator, Management for Space Operations

Tonya Frazier McNair is the deputy associate administrator for management and a key senior advisor to NASA’s associate administrator for the Space Operations Mission Directorate. In this role, she assists in leading low Earth orbit space operations, as well as continued development of a vibrant and expanding commercial space economy. McNair is responsible and accountable for resources and management systems and processes to enable NASA’s human spaceflight portfolio including safety, success, and performance of its programs and projects. 

Previously, McNair was the deputy director for the Exploration Systems Development and Space Operations Mission Directorates’ Strategic Integration and Management Division. She also served as the director for programmatic strategic integration, where she led a dynamic team of engineers and analysts to formulate and integrate program planning and control plans for the nation’s Artemis missions to land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon and beyond. 

McNair has more than 30 years of program management and systems engineering experience, managing sensors, weapons, and combat systems for the Department of the Navy and strategic planning for NASA systems. Before joining NASA, McNair was the project engineer for the Presidential Helicopter Program Marine One, where she pioneered program efforts within Naval Sea Systems Command, as well as the Missile Defense Agency developing anti-air and anti-ship missile, surface sensors and combat system capabilities. She’s also led several multi-service teams to develop and test new battlespace capabilities and to address production and industrial base issues.  

McNair was awarded the second highest medal afforded to a U.S. Navy civilian, the Meritorious Civilian Service Award. She is a Women of Color Technology All-Star Winner, a Black Engineer of the Year candidate, and has received multiple leadership and team awards. She’s been recognized by NASA for her leadership in diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility planning, recruiting duties at Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions, and engagement with the agency’s employee resource groups.  

McNair is a native of Florence, South Carolina, and earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina Agricultural Technical State University and obtained a Master of Science Degree in National Security Resource Strategy from the National Defense University (Industrial College for the Armed Forces). McNair is a Federal Acquisition Workforce member and maintains level III certification in Program Management, Systems Engineering and Logistics. She is a proud member of the Epsilon Chi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.