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Former NASA Executive and Howard Alumnus To Deliver 2023 Charter Day Convocation Address, March 3

Robinson led historic launch of James Webb Space Telescope

Gregory L. Robinson

WASHINGTON –Howard University alumnus Gregory L. Robinson (CEA ‘83), former executive leader of NASA and one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People”, will serve as the keynote speaker for Howard University’s 156th Charter Day Convocation on Friday, March 3 at 10:30 a.m. in Cramton Auditorium. Howard University will confer upon Robinson an honorary degree, Doctor of Science, the University's highest honor.

The 2023 Charter Day Convocation is open to the public and will also be available for viewing via livestream.

With more than 30 years of engineering, program and project management, and senior executive leadership at NASA, Robinson is the former program director who oversaw the historic, successful launch of the $10B James Webb Space Telescope (Webb). Launched millions of miles into space on Christmas Day 2021, Webb is the premier observatory of the next decade, serving thousands of astronomers around the world with stunning images, data and insights into the universe’s origins.

Webb telescope at launch with rocket taking off

From the Mecca to the Milky Way: Solving the Mysteries of Space

Robinson’s storied career at NASA also includes serving as deputy associate administrator for programs, NASA Science Mission Directorate, overseeing the development and operations of 114 flight projects and deputy director of the John Glenn Research Center, consisting of 3,200 employees, and spanning the scope of research and technology, aeronautics, and science and human spaceflight.

As NASA’s deputy chief engineer, Robinson engaged with numerous satellite developments, including the last 21 space shuttle launches. He spent 11 years in various leadership positions at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. He also served as deputy assistant administrator for systems at NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service and led the acquisition and management of all weather satellite systems.

Robinson is the recipient of many national awards such as Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2022, Federal Employee of the Year (2022), Samuel J. Heyman Service to America (Sammies), Presidential Distinguished Executive Rank Award (2022) and, in 2002, The Roy L. Clay Sr. Technology Pinnacle Award, “Innovation & Equity 21: 50 Most Important African-Americans in Technology.”

Robinson holds bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering from Howard University and mathematics from Virginia Union University and a MBA from Averett University. He also was a senior executive fellow at Harvard University Kennedy School of Government and completed the Federal Executive Institute, Leadership for Democracy Society. Robinson currently serves as faculty at Columbia University, School of Professional Studies.

Charter Day Convocation marks the beginning of a weekend-long celebration leading to the Charter Day Dinner on Saturday, March 4.  Hosted by a nationally recognized emcee, and featuring renowned entertainment, the festive, black-tie occasion celebrates the University’s founding and awards honorees for their contributions to Howard and the community. Tickets to the Charter Day Dinner are available for purchase now. Proceeds will support scholarships for Howard University students.