Michelle Viotti is the Manager for NASA’s Mars Public Engagement Program, which covers formal education, informal education, and public outreach activities for missions in NASA’s Mars Exploration Program. In this position, she leads a team of communications and education experts at JPL and coordinates the efforts of Mars-related education and public outreach activities undertaken by other NASA Centers and Principal Investigators at universities. Mars Public Engagement includes the Mars Student Imaging Project, Mars Robotics Education, Imagine Mars, the Mars Museum Visualization Alliance, among others.
Prior to her Mars involvement, Michelle was the Team Lead for the Universe theme at JPL, which covered the Origins Program and Fundamental Physics research. She also served as Media Relations Officer for this theme. Her first position at JPL was Senior Legislative Liaison for the Office of Legislative and International Affairs, where she was responsible for communicating information about JPL’s space exploration goals, educational programs, and opportunities and contributions by and to industry. She has worked for JPL since January, 1996.
Before JPL, Michelle worked for Podesta Associates, a public relations firm in Washington, D.C. Michelle also worked for Los Alamos National Laboratory for five years, first in New Mexico and then in Washington, D.C. She served as a legislative analyst, covering the Lab’s non-defense technology development in high-performance computing, energy, environment, materials science, transportation, and health. In this role, she also contributed to community-relations and state-based initiatives that brought the Lab’s educational programs to New Mexico students.
Her undergraduate degree is from Wellesley College and her masters is from Johns Hopkins University.
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