Dr. Tam O’shaughnessy. Image from UCSD video

President Obama has appointed Dr. Tam O’Shaughnessy, co-founder and executive director of Sally Ride Science at UC San Diego, to the advisory board of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington.

In announcing the appointment of O’Shaughnessy and several others to key administration posts, Obama said, “I am proud that such experienced and committed individuals have agreed to serve the American people in these important roles.”

Gen. J.R. “Jack” Dailey, director of the museum, applauded O’Shaughnessy’s ongoing commitment to education in STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math.

“We are pleased that a STEM educator of Dr. O’Shaughnessy’s experience is joining the museum’s advisory board, and we look forward to her contributions as we transform the museum for the future,” Dailey said.

The museum is home to the world’s largest collection of aviation and spaceflight exhibits and artifacts. The collection covers all facets of human flight, including aviation-themed artwork and archives. The museum welcomes more than eight million people a year to its two locations, making it the nation’s most visited museum.

“I am deeply honored to be appointed by President Obama to serve on the advisory board for the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum,” O’Shaughnessy said. “This magnificent museum inspires people of all ages, from countries around the world. The museum honors the innovations, commitment and courage of the women and men who pushed the boundaries of flight. I am thrilled to do my small part to continue this awe-inspiring mission.”

O’Shaughnessy was the life partner of Sally Ride, the first American woman in space. In 2001, Ride, O’Shaughnessy, and three friends founded Sally Ride Science with the goal of narrowing the gender gap in STEM. The company created programs and publications to inspire students, especially girls, to stick with science and math and to consider careers in STEM.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.