Lakiesha Hawkins has been named to the Senior Executive Service position of deputy manager of the Human Landing System Program Office at Marshall Space Flight Center, pending approval by the agency’s Office of Personnel Management.
The Senior Executive Service is the personnel system covering top managerial positions in federal agencies. Hawkins will assist HLS Program Manager Lisa Watson-Morgan in leading the development of an integrated human lunar landing system, including elements such as the descent element, ascent element, and transfer vehicle for the Artemis program.
Since 2019, Hawkins has been manager of the HLS Program Office’s Program Planning and Control Office, and was responsible for leadership of the budget, risk, schedule, governance, cyber security, and audit aspects of lander development efforts. From 2018-19, she was deputy manager of the Habitation Systems Development Office, providing program and project leadership for the Gateway Habitation Element. In 2017, she was chief of the Avionics Systems Integration Branch, where she managed systems engineers leading avionics software and hardware integration for the Space Launch System.
In 2016, Hawkins accepted a temporary assignment at NASA Headquarters in the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, where she developed an in-space transportation strategic plan to inform the Agency Planning Programming Budgeting and Execution 19 process. Additionally, she provided critical support to the Mars Study Capability Team, Future Capabilities Team, and NextSTEP Broad Area Announcement Team.
As team lead for propulsion dynamic loads and data analysis from 2012 to 2016, Hawkins provided leadership and technical direction to the Structural and Dynamic Analysis Branch, giving day-to-day guidance in structural dynamics, system loads, rotordynamics, data acquisition and analysis, vibroacoustics, and shock. Hawkins began her NASA career at Marshall in 2010 as a lead systems engineer for the J-2X engine fuel turbopump development and a technical expert in liquid engine component and systems development.
Prior to joining NASA, she worked in private industry supporting development of turbomachinery for the Space Shuttle Main Engine and leading technical integration efforts to resolve turbopump issues for the Ares Upper Stage J-2X engine.
Hawkins holds a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Florida A&M University and a master’s in engineering management from the University of South Florida. She was awarded a NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal in 2017 and was honored as a Distinguished Alumni by the Florida A&M University-Florida State University College of Engineering Department of Mechanical Engineering in 2018.
A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Hawkins and her husband, John Jr., live in Madison with their daughter, Shayla, and son, John III.