Roselee Roberts (1942-2020)

Roselee Roberts (1942-2020)

Roselee Roberts, a treasured member of the Washington, D.C. space policy community for more than four decades, passed away on April 22 after a long illness. She would have celebrated her 78th birthday on April 24.

Roselee Roberts Credit: The Advocates Company website

Roselee’s space career took her from Capitol Hill, to industry, then back to Capitol Hill, and ultimately to NASA before she retired and set up her own consulting practice, The Advocates Company, with her husband, Art.

An economist, she worked for the Office of Management and Budget and other federal agencies before joining the staff of then-Congressman (later Senator) Bill Nelson (D-FL) during his tenure as chairman of the House space and aeronautics subcommittee.  After eight years on the Hill, she joined McDonnell Douglas, which merged with Boeing in 1997.  All told she spent 19 years representing those companies’ space and aeronautics businesses to Congress, finally becoming Director of Legislative Affairs for Boeing.

She then returned to Capitol Hill, working for Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA) when he chaired the space and aeronautics subcommittee.  She later joined NASA as a Special Assistant to Deputy Administrator Shana Dale and then was Special Assistant to the Associate Administrator for NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate working primarily on the Constellation program to return astronauts to the Moon by 2020.

Roselee was active in Women in Aerospace (WIA) from its earliest days, serving on its Board and as its fourth president in 1988.  WIA recognized her dedication and commitment with its Outstanding Leadership Award and Emeritus Award.  She also was a past president of Women in Aviation.

Editor’s Note: I’ve known Roselee for almost my entire career.  She was a beloved member of the space policy community, always there with a smile and a helping hand. We were two of a small set of policy people who lived through the entirety of the exhausting decades of debate (starting in 1984) in Congress over Space Station Freedom/International Space Station, me at the Congressional Research Service and Roselee on the House committee staff or in industry. We also were there at the very beginning of WIA in the mid-1980s and served successive terms as president (me in 1987, Roselee in 1988).  Her passing is very sad and my heartfelt condolences go to Art and their family.  Many of Roselee’s friends are leaving tributes to her on

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