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Ellen Stofan
Most Creative People

Ellen Stofan

Former chief scientist, NASA | Washington, D.C.

Most Creative People

Ellen Stofan was the chief scientist at NASA, where she served as principal advisor for strategic planning for science-related initiatives. From 1991 through 2000, she worked in NASA’s jet propulsion laboratory and with initiatives such as the New Millennium Program and the Magellan Mission to Venus. In between, she was vice president of Proxemy Research in Laytonsville, Md., and also worked as a researcher and investigator on numerous space-related projects. In 2015, she was at the forefront of NASA news related to Mars, speaking about her hope that evidence of life would be found on Mars in the next 20 to 30 years. She's been an active part of a plan to get manned spacecraft to Mars by around 2035. She was also part of NASA’s initiative to raise public support about the advances it is making in science and technology, while encouraging NASA to “use our resources for what is unique to NASA.”

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