Kathryn D Sullivan is an American geologist and a former NASA astronaut. A crew member on three Space Shuttle missions, she is the first American woman to walk in space. She was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator on March 6, 2014.
Sullivan joined the U.S. Naval Reserve as an oceanography officer, retiring with the rank of captain in 2006. She has served as chief scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Before NASA, Sullivan worked in Alaska as an oceanographer.
Sullivan performed the first EVA by an American woman during Space Shuttle Challenger mission STS-41-G on October 11, 1984. She flew on three space shuttle missions and logged 532 hours in space.
After leaving NASA, Sullivan served as president and CEO of the COSI Columbus, an interactive science center in Columbus, Ohio and as Director for Ohio State University’s Battelle Center for Mathematics and Science Education Policy as well as a volunteer science advisor to COSI. She was appointed to the National Science Board by President Bush in 2004.