Dr. Stephen Rinehart
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Dr. Stephen Rinehart is a NASA scientist, dedicated to the idea that government has a key role in supporting science for the public good. For the past four years, he has served as the Director of Planetary Research Programs in the Science Mission Directorate at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), leading the Agencies investments in planetary science research. Prior to that, he was an astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
As a White House Leadership Development Program Fellow, Dr. Rinehart will be working in the Office of the National Cyber Director where he will focus on implementing national cybersecurity strategy. He hopes to build on his NASA experience working with diverse stakeholders to help implement change across a wide range of government agencies and to develop new expertise in working with a broad range of stakeholders. He believes this experience will help him help NASA carry out exciting new missions of discovery and exploration in the future.
Dr. Rinehart is also looking forward to sharing his expertise with other members of the cohort as well as learning from them. He hopes to make long-term connections within the group and work together to build a better federal government.
In his time at Goddard, Dr. Rinehart served as a Project Scientist for the Hubble Space Telescope, the Project Scientist for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, and led numerous research programs. Such programs ranged from computational modeling to analysis of observational data to the development of new technologies to advance NASA’s scientific goals. It also included serving as the Principal Investigator for a unique suborbital payload and leading a team of scientists and engineers in its successful deployment.
Through his experience with NASA’s missions, Dr. Rinehart has developed a keen understanding of the importance of collaboration and focuses his leadership on developing tight-knit, effective teams. He believes such teams arise in a supportive, diverse, and transparent environment, and strives to be a leader who creates these conditions.
Dr. Rinehart received his bachelor’s degree from M.I.T. in 1993 and his doctorate in physics from Cornell University in 1999. He has garnered numerous honors as a NASA scientist, including the Robert H. Goddard Leadership Award and the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal. He lives in Maryland with his spouse (another astrophysicist), daughter, mother-in-law, and a rambunctious dog.