Donna Shirley

Management Consultant & Author; Former Manager of the Mars Exploration Program

Donna Shirley Biography

With more than forty years of experience in the engineering of aerospace and civil systems; instruction at the University of Oklahoma as an assistant dean; and management over the Mars Exploration Program, Donna Shirley retired in 2003 to develop her company, Managing Creativity. As the president of Managing Creativity, Donna offers her advice through speaking, consulting, and training on the management of creative teams.

In 1998, Shirley retired as the manager of the Mars Exploration Program after a 32-year career with NASA in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). She was the first woman to manage flight hardware at the JPL in Pasadena, California; the first woman to manage a spaceflight program; the first woman to manage a NASA program; and the first woman engineer at the JPL.

On July 4, 1997, the entire world watched as the Mars Pathfinder and the Sojourner Rover successfully landed on Mars. Donna led the Sojourner Truth team, the first team of any planetary rover. This robotics team developed a revolutionary robot that landed on Mars aboard the Pathfinder. The Pathfinder Mission was the United States’ first attempt at landing on Mars in 20 years, and Sojourner was the world’s first robotic planetary rover, proving rovers could work on Mars.

After the discovery that rovers could work on Mars, the next rover missions from Spirit and Opportunity are still operating on the red planet.

Sojourner exceeded all expectations, as it sent spectacular images of the Martian landscape back to earth. Millions of people tracking mission progress watched over the Internet as the first images emerged.

In 1997, was inducted into the Women in Technology Hall of Fame. Shirley went on to win the Washington Award in 2000, which is an award for American engineers and was formally inducted into the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame in 2003. She is also the recipient of four honorary doctorates.

Shirley is the author of "Managing Martians," published in 1998 and 1999, and "Managing Creativity: A Practical Guide to Inventing, Developing, and Producing Innovative Products."

Contact a speaker booking agent to check availability on Donna Shirley and other top speakers and celebrities.

Donna Shirley Videos

Oklahoma Stories: Donna Shirley, Honorary Martian
Donna Shirley, Retired Manager, Mars Exploration Program, 1997
Donna Shirley - YouTube

How to book Donna Shirley?

Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Donna Shirley for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Donna Shirley, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Donna Shirley or any other celebrity of your choice.

How much does it cost to book Donna Shirley?

Booking fees for Donna Shirley, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Donna Shirley, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.

Who is the agent for Donna Shirley?

All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Donna Shirley for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Donna Shirley for your next private or corporate function.

What is a full-service talent booking agency?

All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Donna Shirley or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Donna Shirley or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.

Donna Shirley is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Donna Shirley for your event is $5,000 - $20,000. Donna Shirley generally travels from Tulsa, OK, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Viola Davis, Amy Poehler, Amy Schumer, Rashida Jones and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Donna Shirley for an upcoming event.

Donna Shirley Videos

Oklahoma Stories: Donna Shirley, Honorary Martian
Donna Shirley, Retired Manager, Mars Exploration Program, 1997
Donna Shirley - YouTube

Donna Shirley News

  • Donna Shirley makes Seattle’s Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame her New Home

    As program manager for the Mars Exploration Program for NASA, Donna was the original leader of the team that built the highly acclaimed Mars Pathfinder rover, landing a vehicle and several instruments on the surface of the Red Planet in 1997. For that historic mission, Donna also helped oversee the creation of a Website that came to represent a defining moment for the Internet, the first virtual Web connection between the public at large in cyberspace and information being gathered and transmitted from the farthest reaches of outer space.

  • Mars Exploration Program Manager Donna Shirley to Retire

    Donna Shirley, manager of NASA's Mars Exploration Program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and original leader of the team that built the highly acclaimed Mars Pathfinder rover, will retire August 21.

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