• Print

Dr. Bonnie Dunbar Profile

Dr. Bonnie Dunbar | President, CEO of The Museum of Flight; retired NASA Astronaut

Dr. Bonnie J. Dunbar is President and CEO of The Museum of Flight in Seattle. The “MOF” is the largest private air and space museum in the world, with an education program that provides for nearly 100,000 students per year and an aircraft restoration center. Dr. Dunbar recently retired from the NASA Johnson Space Center where she was Associate Director, Technology Integration and Risk Management for the Space Life Sciences Directorate (SLSD) of the NASA Johnson Space Center. SLSD is responsible for Astronaut Crew Health, Human Health Research for Space Exploration, Human Factor Design of Spacecraft, and Life Support Requirements.

A NASA Mission Specialist astronaut and veteran of 5 space flights, Dr. Dunbar has logged more than 50 days in space. She has served as the Payload Commander on two flights, including the first Space Shuttle docking mission to the Russian Space Station Mir.

Dr. Dunbar holds BS and MS degrees in Ceramic Engineering from the University of Washington, and a PhD in Mechanical/Biomedical Engineering from the University of Houston. Prior to working for NASA, she was a senior research engineer with Rockwell International Space Division, where she helped to develop the equipment and processes for manufacturing the thermal protection system for the Space Shuttle. Dr. Dunbar is a member of the American Ceramic Society (Fellow), the National Institute of Ceramic Engineers, the Society of Women Engineers and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA/Associate Fellow). She has been awarded the NASA Space Flight Medal, the NASA Exceptional Leadership Medal and the NASA Distinguished Service Medal. Dr. Dunbar is a registered Professional Engineer, a member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and in 2002 was elected to the National Academy of Engineers.

Dr. Dunbar has been a lifelong athlete and played basketball in high school. In her senior class at Sunnyside High, she was voted most “athletic girl.”