Karla Benjamin Clark

Title: Retired Assistant Director for Office of Safety and Mission Success
Company: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Location: Bennington, Nebraska, United States

Karla Benjamin Clark, Retired Assistant Director for Office of Safety and Mission Success for National Aeronautics and Space Administration, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Engineers for dedication, achievements, and leadership in engineering management.

Ms. Clark’s line of work has been instrumental in protecting and advocating for the safety of NASA personnel. Prior to retiring in 2017, she worked as the assistant director for the Office of Safety and Mission Success. She had long been with NASA, starting with the organization in the early 1990s as an assistant technical manager of the Cassini Project. She held this role for about five years before becoming a Cassini power subsystem engineer and then manager. Throughout the next two decades she worked on solar probe projects, power electronics, the Europa Orbiter flight system and the Prometheus project under a variety of roles. In 1997, she began consulting with Radioisotope Power Systems. Ms. Clark has been involved with the Mars Scout Proposal and has been a prominent speaker in the field.

Interested in science at an early age, Ms. Clark pursued the field at Rice University, earning a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineer in 1983. She continued at the University of California, Los Angeles to earn an MS in mechanical engineer in 1986 and then an MS in engineering management in 1988. On a civil level, she has been involved with the Aerospace Flight Battery Systems Steering Committee with NASA and the Hubble Space Telescope Battery Review Subcommittee.

Throughout her career, Ms. Clark has been recognized for her achievements. In 2014 and more recently in 2017, she received the Magellan Award from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She has also received the Outstanding Leadership Medal, the Team Award, the Exceptional Achievement Award and the Group Achievement Award from NASA as well. In 1997, she was honored for Outstanding Contribution to Huygens Probe from the European Space Agency and in 2003 she was inducted to the Finneytown High School Hall of Fame.

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