Dear WIA Members,
WIA is saddened to share that one of our early leaders, Roselee Roberts, has passed away.
Roselee was a great friend and champion of American leadership in space. She blazed trails for women professionals in Congress, federal agencies, McDonnell Douglas and Boeing, to name a few. She was truly a pioneer of the space policy community, working as an economist in several agencies before joining the House of Representatives staff to work for then-Congressman Bill Nelson (D-FL). Roselee later returned to NASA before retiring to work directly for Shana Dale, Deputy Administrator, another WIA leader.
In 1985, a pioneering and visionary group of women organized WIA when they recognized the need for an organization focused on women in space. Its purpose was to connect women in aerospace-related professions, raise their visibility within the sector, provide access to speakers discussing timely issues, promote women’s advancement, and attract new women into aerospace. The founders had a strong vision, from the beginning, of having everyone work together toward a common goal.
The original 5 Co-Founders approached Roselee in 1988 asking her to serve as President of WIA. She was only the fourth WIA President in the organization’s history. Roselee nurtured WIA in its early years into becoming the highly successful organization that exists today. Leveraging her strong personal relationships with key Members of Congress, Roselee was able to obtain their support for WIA meetings, events and award ceremonies. She took WIA to a new level of gravitas in the aerospace and defense community. Her legacy of leadership and support for her colleagues was recognized with the WIA Member Emeritus Award in 1993 and its very prestigious Outstanding Member Award in 2000.
Roselee brought an unparalleled level of professionalism to everything she did. Through her leadership at WIA and throughout her career, Roselee never hesitated to support and mentor young women and men in aerospace. Her protégés can be counted across industry, academia and government.
Roselee will be sorely missed by her family, friends, and colleagues but most of all by the hundreds of WIA Members she helped during the past three decades.
In honor of Roselee, WIA is asking our members to share their favorite memory about Roselee. We will collect these and provide them to her family. Please send comments to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition, you can share your thoughts here
. The WIA Board of Directors are also considering other ways to honor Roselee.