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Alumna Therese Jones receives Penn State Alumni Achievement Award

1 August 2022
Therese Jones

Therese Jones has been selected as one of eleven recipients of the Penn State Alumni Association's 2022 Alumni Achievement Award. Recipients are nominated by an academic college or campus and invited by the president of the University to return to Penn State to share their expertise with students and the University community. Honorees demonstrate to students that Penn State alumni succeed in exceptional fashion at an early age.

The Penn State Alumni Association will recognize the awardees at the Alumni Achievement Awards Ceremony on Friday, March 18. Tune into the livestream at 6:30 p.m. Friday to watch the evening’s festivities

Many recipients will meet with students and guest lecture in classrooms to share insights on their successes in life and business. 

Jones ’09 Lib, '09g Sci, is the senior director of policy at the Satellite Industry Association, representing over 50 leading space companies. In this role, she leads the space industry on regulatory, legislative, defense, sustainability, and cybersecurity issues. She has spoken on behalf of SIA at a variety of national and international venues, including the United Nations, Congress, and at numerous Executive Branch agencies, and is considered a thought leader in space policy.

Previously, Jones was an Assistant Policy Researcher at the RAND Corporation, conducting a variety of technical analyses on topics related to space policy, climate change, and cybersecurity for U.S. government agencies. She is working to complete her Ph.D., and a master’s in astrophysics from UC Berkeley.

Jones is a co-founder of the Zed Factor Fellowship, a national fellowship which places 30 undergraduates from historically marginalized groups at well-paid aerospace industry internships. She also founded the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Diversity Scholarship, which provides full travel funding for 50 students to attend annual forums. Jones is a founding partner of, which aggregates internships, scholarships, and fellowships for students in the space industry. She serves on the Board of Advisors for Students for the Exploration and Development of Space and hosts an annual 8-week virtual graduate school application bootcamp for 100 students. She is also a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics Diversity Working Group and the American Astronautical Society board. Jones has served on the Penn State Astronomy Board of Visitors since 2017 and is the incoming Chair of the board.