Griffin Succeeds Current Chairman Scott Parazynski
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (December 18, 2012) - Gwen Griffin, a 27-year veteran of the communications industry and a member of the Challenger Center for Space Science Education (Challenger Center) board of directors, has been named Chairwoman Elect. Griffin will work alongside the current Challenger Center Chairman, Scott Parazynski, for the remainder of his term until her role as Chairwoman begins in August 2013. Parazynski has served as Chairman since May 2010.
"Gwen is an experienced leader with roots in the aerospace and energy industries and a passion for supporting 21st century education and workforce development in the STEM area," said President and CEO Lance Bush. "She has demonstrated her commitment to Challenger Center through many years of dedicated service as a board member and volunteer. I look forward to having the opportunity to work with her in this new capacity."
Griffin is President and CEO of Griffin Communications Group, a full-service strategic communications and branding firm established in 1997. Throughout her career, Griffin has managed a wide array of communications programs, including: education outreach, public affairs and advocacy campaigns. Her clients include Boeing, Coalition for Space Exploration, Blue Origin, CVR Energy and numerous others.
"I am truly honored to be named Chair Elect of Challenger Center. Following in the footsteps of the previous Chairs, including Founder June Scobee Rodgers and former astronauts Bill Readdy and Scott Parazynski, is certainly humbling. I am ready for the job and the opportunity to continue the mission of this valuable organization that was started by the families of the Challenger 51-L crew members more than 26 years ago," said Griffin. "Working with the dedicated team of Challenger Learning Centers across the U.S. to motivate teachers and inspire children is something I'm passionate about. I believe that these immersive and fun educational experiences will position our youth to once again move our country into a leadership position in innovation and technology."
Griffin also serves on the board of directors for The Conrad Foundation, The Harris Foundation, Space Center Houston, the College of Sciences Advisory Counsel at The University of Central Florida and the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership. Prior to forming Griffin Communications Group in 1997, Griffin served as the Director of Marketing for NASA-Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Public Relations/Promotions Manager for Space Center Houston NASA's visitor complex at the Johnson Space Center, Area Marketing Manager for Southwest Airlines, and Public Affairs Specialist for Houston Lighting & Power (now Reliant Energy).
Griffin is a graduate of the University of Central Florida with a degree in journalism specializing in public relations and advertising.
About Challenger Center for Space Science Education
Using space exploration as a theme and simulation as a vehicle, Challenger Center for Space Science Education and its international network of more than 45 Challenger Learning Centers create positive educational experiences that raise students' expectations of success, foster long-term interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and inspire students to pursue studies and careers in these areas. Challenger Center's network of Challenger Learning Centers across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and South Korea reach more than 400,000 students each year through simulated space missions and educational programs and engage more than 40,000 educators through missions, teacher workshops, and other programs. Founded in 1986, Challenger Center for Space Science Education was created to honor the seven astronauts of shuttle flight STS-51-L: Commander Dick Scobee, Gregory Jarvis, Christa McAuliffe, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Judith Resnik, and Michael J. Smith. To learn more about Challenger Center for Space Science Education visit www.challenger.org.