Janet Karika


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Ms. Janet Karika supports NASA’s Launch Services Program (LSP) as the Jacobs Executive Director of Interagency Launch Programs. She is the executive-level point of contact within NASA LSP for coordinating and facilitating program-wide partnerships and interchanges with the Air Force, National Reconnaissance Office, and other government agencies for NASA’s expendable launch vehicle programs. In addition, Ms. Karika supports the NASA HQ Launch Services Office (LSO) in the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD). Ms. Karika works closely with senior leadership of established and emerging commercial space launch companies. Within the U.S. Government Interagency, she interacts with both the non-proliferation and space communities. She works space-related issues to support Congressional staffs, the Executive Branch, and various Federal Agencies and Departments, including the National Security Council, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Departments of Commerce, Defense, State and Transportation.

During her more than 35 years in the space and missile field, Ms. Karika served as the Executive Advisor to the Air Force for space acquisition programs and as the Assistant for Launch Systems for the Office of the Secretary of Defense. During her military career, she was the Air Force Program Executive Office for Space (AFPEO/Space)’s Director for Launch Programs during the transition from heritage launch programs to the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program. She advised the Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) on space and missile non-proliferation and export control, and was ACDA’s representative to the multi-nation Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). She worked on the development of ICBMs, upper stages for launch vehicles, commanded a 72-person nuclear detection operations center, and was a Materials Research Scientist at NASA Ames Research Center. She has been a member of U.S. delegations to Berlin, Moscow, Paris, Tokyo, and Zurich.

Ms. Karika holds a B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering with emphasis in ultra-high temperature composites used in space propulsion and thermal protection systems. She is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). She serves on the FAA’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) and chairs their Operations Working Group. She is a member of the Board of Directors for Women in Aerospace (WIA) and is their Chair of Finance.