Gregory Robinson is a top leadership and science expert, former Director of the James Webb Space Telescope Program, and one of TimeMagazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2022.
His excellent leadership has earned him several awards, including the NASA Presidential Rank Distinguished Executive Award (2013) and the NASA Meritorious Senior Professionals and Executives Award (2007). Gregory was honored with the 2022 Federal Employee of the Year medal, a preeminent career federal employee award, for his leadership of Webb. In 2022, Gregory was also a finalist in “Management Excellence” for the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals and was named to EBONY Magazine’s Power 100 list as one of the STEM Trailblazers.
Gregory is best known for his leadership as the Director of the James Webb Space Telescope Program from 2018-2022: one of the most amazing engineering marvels in NASA’s recent history—and 100 times more powerful than the Hubble Telescope. When he took over in 2018, the program was billions over budget and years behind schedule. Within months of being named Director, he increased the efficiency of the schedule from 55% to 95% through his calm leadership and communication style.
While leading the program, Robinson oversaw nearly 20,000 scientists, engineers, and support staff in 29 states and 14 countries. Skillfully coordinating several organizations, including NASA, European and Canadian space agencies, Northrop Grumman, Arianespace, Space Telescope Science Institute, U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, and Office of Management and Budget.
In his 33-year career at NASA, Gregory has held many leadership positions. He served as NASA’s Deputy Chief Engineer, Deputy Associate Administrator for programs for the Science Mission Directorate (SMD), Deputy Director of NASA’s John Glenn Research Center (GRC), and Deputy Assistant Administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service (NESDIS).
While leading the SMD, Gregory provided oversight of 114 missions and developed best practices to improve performance. He has also been intricately engaged with 21 shuttle launches since the Columbia Shuttle accident as well as numerous satellite developments and launches.
Gregory is currently a lecturer in Information and Knowledge Strategy at Columbia University School of Professional Studies. Previously he served on the faculty of George Washington University, Department of Engineering Management & Systems Engineering.
Gregory holds a bachelor’s degree in Math from Virginia Union University; a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Howard University; and a Master of Business Administration from Averett College.