Dr. Cady Coleman

  • Washington, DC
  • Fees* $35,001 - $50,000

Tagline: NASA Astronaut

Talent Highlights

  • Cady Coleman draws from her time at NASA and her missions on the International Space Station to share insights about team building, leadership and innovation.
  • Chemist, Former U.S. Air Force Officer and NASA Astronaut
  • She is a vocal advocate for diversity and inclusion in STEM/STEAM fields and consults on space-related work, including microgravity research.
  • Dr. Coleman  serves on several boards, including the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Greenfield Community College, Dent the Future, and Skycatch, an innovative A.I. company that provides 3D mapping data for timely decision-making.
  • She is also an advisor to Earthrise Alliance, which uses satellite imagery to provide context for environmental and social justice issues.

Keynote Topics

In many aspects of our lives, we don’t get to pick our crew. As a result, each member of a team brings unique perspectives, skills, and goals.

According to former astronaut Cady Coleman, that’s true of space teams as well, despite the misconception that NASA selects crews based on personal chemistry. Because the mission is of the utmost importance, space crews are put together almost solely based on skill. When the stakes are so high, we don’t let our differences derail our success; they often become the reason for it.

In this talk, Cady draws from her time at NASA and her mission to the International Space Station (ISS) to share what makes a high-performing team.

As Dr. Coleman lays out, learning your teammates’ stories, looking for commonalities, and helping each other — as well as being open to help from others — are all necessary to make a successful crew. Coleman illustrates how these elements are key to building any relationship, and will also increase the success of collaborations, and establish a trust that carries you through times of crisis.

Although we don’t always pick our teams, Cady shows how we can maximize their performance, in part by celebrating what everyone brings to the table.

An exceptional leader inspires a sense of mission that the entire crew embraces, and cultivates the kind of collaborative mindset that drives mission success for a crew in space. 

A veteran of two Space Shuttle missions and a six-month expedition on the International Space Station (ISS), Cady Coleman was the Lead Robotics and Lead Science officer aboard the ISS and the only woman on a crew of six.

On the ground at NASA, Cady was known for her ability to facilitate problem-solving among groups with diverse interests by listening and making space for hard conversations. ISS Expedition 26/27 was amongst the first to integrate commercial space companies into the supply process, presenting daunting logistical and technical challenges.

Cady’s innovative leadership skills were key to integrating her multinational crew and their ground teams to drive this high-pressure mission to resounding success.

In today’s ever-shifting technological landscape, where the roles of humans, machines, and data are constantly in flux, these high-level collaboration skills become even more essential.

Cady Coleman is no stranger to isolation. A retired NASA astronaut, Cady flew on two space shuttle missions and spent six months aboard the International Space Station as the Lead Robotics and Lead Science officer.

Cady’s extreme “remote work” experiences also include an Antarctic meteorite collecting expedition — living in a tent 200 miles from the South Pole – and living and working for 11 days in an underwater habitat.

One of the greatest lessons from human spaceflight has come from the opportunity to view the earth from space — seeing the absence of boundaries between countries, continents, and peoples make it clear that Earth – and space— belong to all of us.

Having lived for six months aboard the International Space Station (ISS), Dr. Cady Coleman has been privileged to see the world from that perspective.

Former NASA Astronaut and Air Force Colonel Cady Coleman is a veteran of two Space Shuttle missions and a six-month expedition aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Onstage, Coleman draws from her time at NASA and in extreme “remote work” situations to discuss team building, leadership, and innovation. With her extraordinary photos and videos, Coleman delivers a […]

Former NASA Astronaut and Air Force Colonel Cady Coleman is a veteran of two Space Shuttle missions and a six-month expedition aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

Onstage, Coleman draws from her time at NASA and in extreme “remote work” situations to discuss team building, leadership, and innovation. With her extraordinary photos and videos, Coleman delivers a captivating account of life in space and the importance of diversity, inclusion, and collaboration in accomplishing ambitious goals.

With 180 days in space accumulated during three missions, Dr. Coleman acted as the Lead Robotics and Lead Science officer aboard the ISS, performing the second-ever robotic capture of a supply ship from the station.

On the ground at NASA, Cady served in a variety of roles within the Astronaut Office, including Chief of Robotics, lead for tile repair efforts after the Columbia accident, and lead astronaut for integration with NASA’s commercial partners SpaceX, Orbital ATK, and Northrup Grumman for supply ships. Her work paved the way for commercial spaceflight collaborations that are now commonplace.

Dr. Cady Coleman | NASA Astronaut

Before retiring from NASA, she led open-innovation and public-private partnership efforts for the Office of the Chief Technologist at NASA Headquarters. As a volunteer test subject for the centrifuge program at the Armstrong Aeromedical Lab, Dr. Cady Coleman set several human endurance/tolerance records while performing physiological and new equipment studies.

Cady is the Global Explorer in Residence at Arizona State University and co-host of the podcast, Mission: Interplanetary.  She’s also a research affiliate at the MIT Media Lab. Cady consults on space-related work for research and for the media. She serves on several boards, including the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Greenfield Community College and Dent the Future.

Cady Coleman lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband Josh Simpson, a glass artist, and their two sons. She is an amateur flute player, known for her “Space Duet” with Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull and her work from space with the acclaimed Irish band, The Chieftains. Cady Coleman coached actress Sandra Bullock from the ISS in preparation for Bullock’s astronaut role in “Gravity.”

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