WASHINGTON, March 27, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Jen Rae Wang has been selected by Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot as NASA’s Associate Administrator for the Office of Communications. Wang joins NASA with more than a decade of experience at the highest levels of state and federal government in public, legislative, and media affairs both domestically and internationally, strategic communications, as well as small and large-scale organizational executive leadership.
“We’re pleased to welcome Jen Rae to NASA,” said Lightfoot from Headquarters in Washington. “Her experience in government and journalism and enthusiasm for our work are going to be immensely useful in engaging wide audiences with the challenging missions of the future.”
At NASA, Wang will direct internal and external communications for the agency and serve as a Senior Advisor to NASA’s Administrator and other executive leaders. She is responsible for managing an agencywide staff of more than 100 that implements all aspects of NASA’s external and internal communications.
“I’m excited to be a part of the amazing NASA team,” Wang said. “NASA is known for having the best and brightest minds in all areas, and to include some of the most talented and creative communications professionals in the world. I’m enthusiastic about the work and opportunities ahead of us, and I look forward to being a part of something very special.”
Immediately prior to coming to NASA, Wang was the Deputy Chief of Staff to U.S. Rep. Don Bacon, where she led the Congressman’s Omaha office as the District Director and was the Communications Director and key spokesperson.
Wang also served as Governor Dave Heineman’s Communications Director and spokesperson for eight years. At the end of his term, she was the longest serving Communications Director for a sitting U.S. Governor. She also was the Communications Director for the Lieutenant Governor and First Lady of Nebraska. In her many responsibilities, she led state communications in emergency situations, assisted in leading international trade missions, lead strategic communications for almost 40 state agencies, and worked directly with the Governor’s Cabinet and the legislature. Wang was a liaison to the National Governor’s Association and worked closely with the nation’s 55 governors and staff when Gov. Heineman served as Vice Chair and Chair of the organization.
Prior to leading the Governor’s Communications Office, Wang was a Senior Advisor and Communications Director to U.S. Congressman Lee Terry on The Hill for three years.
In addition to her public service career, Wang has a background in public relations and journalism, with experience in print, broadcast and social media. She has been an adjunct professor, teaching advanced public relations theories and strategies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications, and recently received the Public Relations Student Society of America’s first-ever Outstanding Mentor Award for her decade of mentoring the future leaders of journalists and strategic communications professionals.
Wang is a graduate of the University of Kansas’ William Allen White School of Journalism, Lawrence, with a Bachelor of Science in strategic communications and advertising. She is currently working on her master’s degree in management with a leadership emphasis through Doane University in Nebraska.
Wang describes herself as the proud wife of a U.S. Marine Corps officer. They have two children, Orion and Lyra.