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Leroy  Chiao

Leroy Chiao

Astronaut

Biography

Ever since he was a little boy, Dr. Leroy Chiao wanted to explore the galaxy. Dr. Leroy Chiao is a renowned American astronaut and international space station commander. Now a veteran of four space missions, Astronaut Chiao has logged over 229 days as a commander at the International Space Station. Working with other astronauts from all over the world, Dr. Chiao has been a leader in the American, Russian, Japanese, European and Chinese space programs. On top of his vast technical knowledge and biomedical expertise, Chiao has used his life of exploration and adventure to inspire others to pursue their dreams and become the definition of greatness. Read More >

He speaks from experience on important business topics such as leadership, how to combat complacency, and essentials to bring your business to the next level. A pioneer in the commercial space sector, his accomplished track record in space, in the lab, and in the business world offers audiences an unparalleled perspective into space exploration and how lessons learned apply to businesses worldwide. His broad technical expertise allows him to offer compelling insights on future technology trends, the fascinating biomedical effects of spaceflight, and how businesses must pay attention to technology and innovation to stay on top. In his presentations, Chiao shares breathtaking photos and awe-inspiring stories of leadership, innovation, and running international teams from his four space missions, including nail-biting tales of real emergency situations, and shows audiences how his out-of-this world knowledge can impact their organizations. Few people have reached the heights in their careers that Leroy Chiao continues to experience, and he is happy to offer the benefit of his experience to inspire and enlighten others in all fields.

The co-founder and president of Black Moon Corporation, a space and conservation startup, Chiao is applying his experience as an astronaut to the technology startup world. His entrepreneurial success and accomplished track record enables him to give audiences an unparalleled glimpse into how the lessons and skills he learned as an astronaut can be applied to the business world. Chiao discusses how innovative problem solving, intuitive thinking and efficient leadership – all skills he perfected as an astronaut – can be applied to help any business grow and develop new methods of thinking. Furthermore, his broad technical expertise allows him to offer compelling insights into the future of technology and the need for a renewed focus on meaningful disruption and innovation.

Leroy Chiao has a unique perspective of the world, being one of the few individuals to have seen it from space. Ever since he sat transfixed as a child watching the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969, he knew that his destination was the stars. The son of Chinese immigrants, Chiao became one of the most accomplished astronauts in the history of the United States’ space program. He is a veteran of four space missions, and during his stellar, 15-year NASA career, he logged 229 days in space – more than 36 hours of which were spent in Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA), and he earned the honor of commanding the International Space Station.

Dr. Chiao’s impressive resume does not begin or end at Cape Canaveral. Before joining NASA, he earned three degrees in chemical engineering from the University of California (Berkeley and Santa Barbara), and a Q-clearance for nuclear secrets at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Post-NASA, He is a co-founder and President of a space technology startup, a cofounder and CEO of a corporate training and education company, and previously served as the CEO of a biomedical materials company. In addition, Chiao was a member of the White House-appointed Review of U.S. Human Spaceflight Plans Committee, and has testified before the U.S. Senate commerce subcommittee on science and space. He holds appointments at Rice University and the Baylor College of Medicine and is the special advisor for human spaceflight to the Houston Association for Space and Science Education. He serves as part of the NASA Advisory Council, is a member of the International Academy of Astronautics, and the Committee of 100. He is also a fellow of the Explorers Club. A trusted expert, Chiao frequently appears on television and other news media addressing science, space exploration, and international issues. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

TEDTalk: Human Spaceflight, the World and You

Introduction

Mission Statement

Corporate

Committee of 100

Speech Topics

To the Stars! – Leaving Complacency Behind

Complacency in any organization leads to loss of efficiency and opportunities in the best case, and loss of the business or even life in the worst. Complacency is an insidious slow-burning problem, which usually begins and builds without anyone really noticing. In this thought-provoking presentation, Dr. Leroy Chiao discusses success in space exploration and business using his personal spaceflight stories and photographs, as well as failures at NASA and other organizations. Chiao introduces case studies and examines the symptoms, causes and effects of organizational and individual complacency. He discusses mitigation and maintenance strategies to leave complacency behind in your endeavor, to reach the stars!

Endeavor to the Next Level!

What does it take to jump to the next level? It takes the right kind of leadership to foster a culture, which emphasizes the rigor of operational excellence, but also encourages using collaboration, curiosity and creativity to take calculated risks and novel paths. It is also vital that your enterprise stays up to date on technology and innovation trends, to stay in the lead position. Read More >

During spaceflight, operational decision-making can make the difference between life and death, success and failure – especially during a crisis. But in some cases, it is the novel solution that saves the day. In this presentation, Dr. Leroy Chiao shares provocative and awe-inspiring stories from his four space missions, including nail-biting tales of real emergency situations, and shows audiences how lessons learned from spaceflight can impact their organizations. Using his personal experience as the commander of a 193-day mission aboard the International Space Station, he illustrates how reaching for the stars is important, but even more so is honing the skills required to not only stay alive, but thrive.

In addition, understanding where innovation is driving technology trends is key to planning for the future. Having been in technology companies and NASA, Dr. Chiao is no stranger to this world. He offers an exciting glimpse into life in the future and shares insights on a world in which technology is accelerating much more quickly than ever before – presenting new opportunities for businesses poised to take action, or threats to those who are slow to adapt. He presents real-world examples of companies, which thrived or suffered depending on their ability to change with the times. Imagine a world in which you are connected directly to the Internet using thought-controlled computer augmentation and a virtual heads-up display. Imagine a life where personalized medicine allows treatments tailored to your genetics, where replacement organs are grown to be identical to your own.

Through awe-inspiring stories of his time in space and breathtaking photos, Chiao looks at what is coming around the bend and how organizations can take advantage of the next technological phase and form the right culture to jump to the next quantum level! Read Less ^

Leadership and Operational Decision Making – Fundamentals from Spaceflight

In space, effective leadership can make the difference between life and death, success and failure – especially during a crisis. In this presentation, Dr. Leroy Chiao shares provocative and awe-inspiring stories from his four space missions, including nail-biting tales of real emergency situations, and shows audiences how lessons learned from operational spaceflight can impact their organizations. Using his personal experience as the commander of a 193-day mission aboard the International Space Station, he illustrates how reaching for the stars is important, but even more so is honing the operational decision-making skills required to not only stay alive, but thrive. Read More >

With the help of breathtaking photos, he outlines the five key leadership lessons learned from his time in space: 1.) Training is not something you can switch on and off; it must be a continuous learning process, 2.) Keep your eye on the long-term goal, but ensure that you are safe in the short-term so you have time and the capacity to accomplish it, 3.) Keep crises in perspective and make sure you don’t exacerbate a problem, 4.) Ask for help if necessary, but never forget you are ultimately responsible, and 5.) Sometimes immediate action is required; anticipate and be prepared for it. Chiao’s talk is great for leaders in all sectors who work in a complex environment, who take calculated risks, and who “push the envelope.” Read Less ^

Technology and Innovation Trends, and Your Business

Understanding where innovation is driving technology trends is key to planning for the future. Dr. Leroy Chiao is no stranger to this world. He offers an exciting glimpse into life on the next quantum level and shares insights on a world in which technology is accelerating much more quickly than ever before – presenting new opportunities for businesses poised to take action. Imagine a world in which you are connected directly to the Internet using thought-controlled computer augmentation and a virtual heads-up display or a world in which sensors can identify you instantly – allowing you to travel smoothly and securely, whether you use commercial travel or your automatically piloted vehicle. Imagine a life where personalized medicine allows treatments tailored to your genetics, where replacement organs are grown to be identical to your own. Through awe-inspiring stories of his time in space and breathtaking photos, Chiao looks at what is coming around the bend and how organizations can take advantage of the next technological phase.

Exciting Discoveries in Space! What’s It All About and is there Other Life Out There?

It is a question that humans have contemplated since we became aware of our universe: Is there other life out there? Over the centuries, tales of visits by alien life abounded. Even in spaceflight, astronauts frequently observe strange phenomena. Read More >

In this fascinating keynote, Dr. Chiao describes his own provocative observations made over his four space missions and talks about recent exciting discoveries that show the possibility of other life in our own cosmic backyard! Chiao includes his personal story and adventures in space, and shares striking and beautiful photographs of our Earth. Read Less ^

View from the On-High: Adventures of a Professional Astronaut

Experience spaceflight from the on-high of the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station. See breathtaking, awe-inspiring, and provocative photos of the Earth from space and hear first-hand accounts from Leroy Chiao about his four space missions. Read More >

Get the behind-the-scenes tour from the Commander of Expedition X, and his view on where we are heading. Stunning photographs and personal stories make this an unforgettable experience! Read Less ^

Space Photography as Art

Viewed from space, the Earth is an amazingly beautiful place. Join Leroy Chiao as he shares some of the best of his 16,000+ photographs from orbit. He describes his adventures in space and provides context and thoughts about the amazing photos he shot from the International Space Station and Space Shuttles. Read More >

This presentation is sure to inspire wonder and add perspective on our amazing world to all audiences! Read Less ^

For Students: Make the Most of Your OneOrbit!

We all have one chance, one life, OneOrbit! In this keynote geared especially for students, Dr. Chiao talks about the fundamentals that young people must embrace in order to pursue a successful and fulfilling professional life. Using his personal story, Chiao describes the importance of not only having dreams and passions, but of also having the courage to follow that path. Read More >

A child of immigrants, Dr. Chiao endured challenges like bullying, and found ways to turn that negative energy into a positive. He describes the importance of hard work and persistence, character and making the right choices. This exciting and inspiring keynote delivers the recipe to young people to strive and thrive, delivered against the awesome backdrop of space exploration! Read Less ^

International Space Exploration Programs: History, Current Plans, and Where are We Going?

Without exception, human space exploration (HSF) programs historically grew out of military missile programs. This fascinating presentation examines how rocket programs began and evolved in wartime Germany, Russia, and the United States. China, a latecomer to the HSF game, has slowly and steadily built their program since launching their first national astronaut into orbit in 2003, to become the emerging space superpower today. Read More >

Nobody is in a better position than Dr. Leroy Chiao to talk about the Chinese space program and offer comparisons to the American and Russian ones. Dr. Chiao, who holds the distinction of being the first astronaut of Chinese heritage to perform a spacewalk and to command a space mission, talks about these programs and takes a look at what are the possibilities for the future. He discusses international cooperation and gives his thoughts on where we are going in the future of space exploration! Read Less ^

Is It SADS, or Am I in Space? Medical Considerations for Spaceflights

Spaceflight is a magical, life-changing experience. However, there is a darker side to the adventure. Serious medical issues, both acute and chronic, occur in every phase of flight, and it is these biomedical challenges that limit our ability to send astronauts on longer and more distant missions – not the technology of spacecraft or technical systems. Read More >

In this fascinating presentation, Dr. Chiao weaves the physiological effects of the space environment with his personal stories and adventures in space. In addition, he discusses the synergy between the development of operational countermeasures and diagnostics for spaceflight, and the creation of healthcare solutions on Earth.

Educated as a chemical engineer, Dr. Chiao first became interested in space biomedicine after experiencing changes in physiology during his first Space Shuttle mission. A veteran of four spaceflights, he served as commander and NASA science officer of Expedition-X, a six-and-a-half-month mission aboard the International Space Station. After a 15-year NASA astronaut career, Dr. Chiao became the user panel chairman for the National Space Biomedical Research Institute, and a professor in the Center for Space Medicine, Both at the Baylor College of Medicine in the Texas Medical Center. Read Less ^

Journey of the First Chinese-Heritage Professional Astronaut

Born in the United States, Leroy Chiao was the first NASA astronaut of full Chinese heritage. The wide-eyed child of immigrants, Chiao was inspired by the Apollo-11 Moon landing to launch his own journey to the stars. But his journey was not simple or easy. He overcame challenges like bullying and discrimination, and had to make the right choices as a young person, to stay healthy. Hear firsthand on how he persevered, succeeded and flew four missions into space, including three Space Shuttle flights, walked in space six times, co-piloted a Russian Soyuz spacecraft and was afforded the honor of commanding the International Space Station, on a six-and-a half month mission. Read More >

Chiao, also holds the distinction of being the first astronaut of Chinese heritage to perform a spacewalk and to command a space mission, Dr. Chiao’s story is an inspiration to all, especially for young people! Read Less ^

In The News

Articles

Chicago Ideas Week

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