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Leshin Receives State Recognition

As part of the California Assembly’s annual celebration of women’s achievement and leadership, Assemblyman Chris Holden has announced the selection of this year’s 41st Assembly District Women of Distinction.
Among those distinguished was Laurie Leshin of La Cañada Flintridge, the first female director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory since May 2022.
“It is a privilege to celebrate these outstanding women leaders within our district,” Holden said. “Their work shapes and enriches our communities. There are few words that fully capture the extent of my appreciation for each of these women. My hope is that through this honor, they know that their hard work and dedication never goes unnoticed.”
The women selected are outstanding leaders and pioneers who have worked diligently to help others and inspire great change. Alongside Leshin, this year’s honorees include Dorothy Wong of Altadena, Patricia Jessup-Woodlin of Sierra Madre, Sylvia Jauregui of Monrovia, Julie Olesniewicz of Alta Loma/Rancho Cucamonga, Linda Logan of La Verne, Margarita “Rita” Karasik-McGee of San Dimas, Amy Fass of Claremont, and Mary Locke of Upland.
Leshin is a distinguished geochemist and space scientist with extensive leadership experience in academia and government, including senior NASA positions. Leshin was president of Worcester Polytechnic Institute from 2014 to 2022 and previously served as dean of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute School of Science. At NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center from 2005 to 2008, she served as director of science, then deputy director for science and technology, leading strategy, planning, and implementation of more than 50 Earth and space flight projects. In 2010, Leshin became deputy associate administrator of the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters, overseeing future human spaceflight.

First published in the April 11 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.


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