Headshot of Bonnie Dunbar

Bonnie Dunbar

Nonresident Fellow


Bonnie J. Dunbar, Ph.D., is a nonresident fellow with the Baker Institute Space Policy Program, as well as a retired NASA astronaut, engineer and educator. She currently works with Texas A&M University as a Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station Eminent Research Professor in the aerospace engineering department. Dunbar previously worked at the University of Houston, where she provided leadership in the development of a new integrated university science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) center. Dunbar worked for the Rockwell International Space Division Company building Space Shuttle Columbia, and she worked for 27 years at NASA. While at NASA, she served as a flight controller and a mission specialist astronaut, and she flew five space shuttle flights and logged more than 50 days in space. She then served for seven years as a member of the NASA Senior Executive Service. Dunbar further worked as the Johnson Space Center assistant director for university research, deputy director for flight crew operations, associate director for International Space Station mission operations development, and as NASA headquarters deputy associate administrator for the Office of Life and Microgravity Sciences and Applications. After retiring from NASA, Dunbar became president and CEO of the Museum of Flight in Seattle, and she has also consulted in aerospace and STEM education as the president of Dunbar International LLC. Dunbar has been awarded the NASA Space Flight Medal five times, the NASA Exceptional Leadership Medal and the NASA Distinguished Service Medal. She was also elected into the Royal Society of Edinburgh, as well as the National Academy of Engineering. Dunbar holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in ceramic engineering from the University of Washington and a Ph.D. in mechanical and biomedical engineering from the University of Houston.

Contact at bjdunbar@tamu.edu.