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Caltech Y Presents: An Evening with Dr. Laurie Leshin
Caltech Y Presents: An Evening with Dr. Laurie Leshin

Tue, Feb 28



Caltech Y Presents: An Evening with Dr. Laurie Leshin

Please join us for an intimate discussion with Dr. Leshin as she talks about her journey to becoming JPL’s 10th director and her vision for JPL moving forward.

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Time & Location

Feb 28, 2023, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Athenaeum, 551 S Hill Ave, Pasadena, CA 91106, USA

About The Event

Dr. Laurie Leshin, director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory since May 2022, is a distinguished geochemist and space scientist with extensive leadership experience in academia and government, including senior NASA positions.  

As the Director of JPL, Dr. Leshin also serves as Vice President of Caltech and as Bren Professor of Geochemistry and Planetary Science at Caltech. She will continue as co-investigator for two instruments on NASA's Mars Curiosity rover.

Before joining Caltech and JPL, Dr. Laurie Leshin was the president of Worcester Polytechnic Institute from 2014 to 2022 and previously served as Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute School of Science dean. At NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center from 2005 to 2008, she served as director of science, then deputy director for science and technology, leading strategy, planning, and implementation of more than 50 Earth and space flight projects. In 2010, she became deputy

associate administrator of the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters, overseeing future human spaceflight.

Dr. Leshin's numerous honors include NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal and Distinguished Public Service Medal, and the Meteoritical Society’s Nier Prize for outstanding research by a scientist under the age of 35. In 2021, she received the Caltech Distinguish Alumni Award. The International Astronomical Union named asteroid 4922 Leshin to honor her planetary science contributions. Dr. Leshin advised President George W. Bush on space policy, and Barack Obama appointed her to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum advisory board. She holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Arizona State University, and master’s and doctoral degrees in geochemistry from Caltech.

Reception 6:00 pm

Dinner 7:00 pm

Discussion Starts 7:45 pm

Please RSVP by February 20th, 2023

Space is limited.


Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

with pomegranate seeds, sage

Cedar Plank Salmon

sautéed baby turnips, grilled asparagus, chimichurri, peppadew


Kale & Mushroom Ravioli

arrabbiata, Swiss chard, saba

Chocolate Almond Pave

malted brown butter ice cream, almond sauce



Enterprise Holdings Foundation

Honeybee Robotics


Keck Institute for Space Studies

Mandala Space Ventures

The Aerospace Corporation

Sponsorship packages are available to allow Caltech students to attend this event. For sponsorship information, contact Athena Castro at


*Friends dinners are unique evenings where the Caltech and Pasadena communities come together to engage with world-renowned scientific,  humanitarian, and civic leaders. You are receiving this event because you are a Friend of the Caltech Y or a Friend is inviting you. Friends dinners are not fundraising events. Our ticket price covers our cost for the evening.

The Athenaeum follows Caltech’s COVID-19 safety protocols. By entering Caltech's facilities, visitors attest to being fully vaccinated or having a legal medical exemption.


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    Your gift will allow Caltech students to enjoy this event.

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  • Table Sponsorship Package

    Great for corporate sponsors. Two donors will dine with eight (8) Caltech students. Sponsors will be acknowledged at the event and via social media.

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