Florence Tan was born in Muar, Johor, Malaysia. She is the Chair of the Small Spacecraft Coordination Group (SSCG) at NASA Headquarters and the Deputy Chief Technologist (DCT) for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD). In her role as SSCG Chair, Florence leads the SSCG to coordinate and develop NASA’s strategy and vision for small spacecraft in science, exploration missions, and technology activities and provides advice to the Associate Administrators of the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD), Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) and SMD. As the DCT for SMD, she supports the SMD Chief Technologist survey and assesses technology needs for NASA’s science.
Previously, Florence Tan worked at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) for 32 years and has had design and build, I&T, and operational roles in seven mass spectrometers to destinations including Mars, Saturn, Titan, and the Moon. She has received numerous awards, including the NASA Medal for Exceptional Achievement, the Robert H. Goddard Exceptional Achievement for Outreach, Goddard Division Excellence Award, Goddard Special Act Awards, and Goddard Peer Awards, as well as multiple NASA Group Achievement Awards, the NASA Honor Award Silver Achievement Medal and others. Florence has made it a personal goal to promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. Florence is also actively engaging in outreach activities with students and the public in promoting NASA science and technology advancements multiple times per year in the last 15 years.
Florence Tan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland, a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering, and an MBA from Johns Hopkins University.