Mary Ellen Weber
Mary Ellen Weber

Veteran NASA astronaut shares insights on decision-making dynamics at Carnegie Mellon

Dr. Mary Ellen Weber draws on lessons from space to highlight the importance of planning, preparation in high-stakes decision-making

DOHA, QATAR– During a lecture at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q), Mary Ellen Weber, a veteran NASA astronaut and U.S. national skydiving champion, discussed the dynamics of decision-making when risks are high and time is short.

Drawing on her long experience as a consultant in innovation and high-risk operations, Weber explained that the need for urgent action can be a major risk factor in any decision-making process.

“The reason why there are lessons from space on decision-making is because it applies to any situation where you have to make a decision fast,” argued Dr. Weber, who was selected in the 14th class of NASA astronauts and went on two spaceflights during her ten years with NASA.

Michael Trick, dean of CMU-Q, said: “We are delighted to have worked with the U.S. Embassy in Qatar to host Dr. Weber for this lecture to our community. Her remarkable experience provides key insights for our students who are forging their own career paths, and learning about leadership, problem-solving and decision-making.”

Weber is currently a member of the NASA Advisory Council Committee on Technology, Innovation and Engineering, which advises NASA leadership on future space technologies. She is a consultant in technology innovation, strategic communications, and high-risk operations through her company, Stellar Strategies.

Weber is a guest of the U.S. Embassy in Qatar, and will be speaking to several different communities during her stay in Qatar.

Now in its ninth year, CMU-Q’s Dean’s Lecture Series features industry leaders, government officials and members of the community who share their expertise on relevant and topical issues.


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