Dr. Mae C. Jemison is founder of the technology consulting firm, The Jemison Group, Inc. that integrates the critical impact of socio-cultural issues when designing and implementing technologies, such as their projects on using satellite technology for health care delivery in West Africa and solar dish Stirling engines for electricity generation in developing countries.
Dr. Jemison, the first woman of color in the world to go into space, served six years as a NASA astronaut. She flew aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, STS-47 Spacelab J(apan) mission in September 1992. Jemison served as NASA’s first Science Mission Specialist performing experiments in material science, life science and human adaptation to weightlessness.
Started after she left NASA, The Jemison Group also explores and develops stand-alone science and technology programs and companies. BioSentient Corporation, a medical technology devices and services company focused on improving health and human performance through physiologic awareness and self-regulation is such a company. Jemison is guiding the company in the design, development and marketing of leading-edge, patented ambulatory equipment that provides wireless, real-time, real-life multi-parameter physiologic monitoring and the means to control one’s responses to their environment and stimuli. As an environmental studies professor at Dartmouth College, Jemison taught courses on sustainable development and technology design and ran The Jemison Institute for Advancing Technologies in Developing Countries. She was an A.D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University.
A strong, committed national voice for science literacy, in 1994 Jemison founded the international science camp The Earth We Share™ for students 12-16 years old from around the world, chairs the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence and serves as national advocate for Bayer Corporation’s award winning Making Science Make Sense program. In October 2006 the Foundation developed the program Reality Leads Fantasy—Celebrating Women of Color in Flight that brought together and highlighted women in aviation and space from around the world.
Prior to joining NASA, Jemison was the Area Peace Corps Medical Officer for Sierra Leone and Liberia in West Africa for two and a half years overseeing the healthcare system for Peace Corps (and State Department in Sierra Leone). She was a general practice doctor in Los Angeles. Among other activities she is currently on the Board of Directors of Kimberly-Clark Corp., Scholastic, Inc. and Valspar Corp., a Trustee of Morehouse College; Chair of the Texas State Product Development and Small Business Incubator Board; Chair of Greater Houston Partnership Disaster Planning and Recovery Task Force; member Board of National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering and Board of Texas Medical Center.
Dr. Jemison earned a B.S. degree in chemical engineering and the requirements for an A.B. degree in African and Afro-American Studies at Stanford University and her doctorate in medicine from Cornell University. Throughout Jemison’s career, she has worked internationally including in a Cambodian refugee camp with the Flying Doctors of East Africa. She is a highly sought after speaker on issues including health care, social responsibility, technology and motivation and has provided commentary for the BBC, McNeil Lehrer Report, ABC Nightline, NPR and CNN.
Jemison is a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine; an inductee of National Women’s Hall of Fame, National Medical Association Hall of Fame and Texas Science Hall of Fame. Among many honors, awards and honorary degrees she received the National Organization for Women’s Intrepid Award, the Kilby Science Award and in 1999 was selected as one of the top seven women leaders in a presidential ballot national straw poll. In Find Where the Wind Goes, she writes for teenagers about growing up on the south side of Chicago, cultivating her aspiration to be a scientist, her experiences as a medical student in Africa and her history-making journey into space. She appeared on an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, hosted the Discovery Channel’s series World of Wonder and was chosen one of People Magazine’s “World’s 50 Most Beautiful People” in 1993. Dr. Jemison resides in Houston and loves cats.