Barbara Kennedy Biography

Barbara Kennedy

Barbara J. Kennedy

National Space Society Board of Directors

Barbara Kennedy brings a unique blend of leadership and expertise to her roles as President of Aerospace Education Competitions (AEC) and Program Manager for ISR IR&D at Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC). Her career path has been as diverse as it is impressive, spanning from her early days as an international horse trainer, carriage driver, and ranch manager to her pivotal role as a civil engineer at NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center.

At NASA, Barbara managed critical aspects of launch infrastructure and oversaw large-scale environmental and commercial construction projects, demonstrating her knack for navigating complex challenges with finesse. Her transition to Sierra Nevada Corporation marked a shift to the forefront of aerospace innovation, where she continues to drive advancements in aerospace ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance) through intensive research and development efforts.

Beyond her professional achievements, Barbara is deeply committed to advancing STEM education. Through AEC’s Space Settlement Design Competitions, she inspires and mentors future leaders in space exploration. She also plays a pivotal role in Women in Aviation International’s initiatives, including Girls in Aviation Day, promoting aviation and aerospace careers among young women. Her involvement with the Society of Women Engineers further underscores her dedication to fostering diversity and inclusion in engineering fields.

Barbara’s leadership and contributions to the aerospace community have been recognized globally. In 2023, she was selected as one of thirty-one mid-career women worldwide to participate in the inaugural Women in Leadership course co-hosted by Women in Aviation International and Harvard University—a testament to her influence and impact in the industry.

Through her multifaceted career and unwavering dedication to education and innovation, Barbara Kennedy exemplifies excellence in aerospace leadership and advocacy.