Assistant Director, Science and Technology Policy Institute
Asha Balakrishnan is an Assistant Director at the Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI), a Federally-Funded Research and Development Center that provides rigorous and objective analysis of science and technology policy issues for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. She brings engineering expertise to STPI work in the areas of space policy, program evaluation, and STEM education and workforce training. Recently, she has collaborated with colleagues on a number of reports on orbital debris, norms of behavior in space, space situational awareness, space traffic management and small satellite technologies. Prior to her PhD, Dr. Balakrishnan worked as a design engineer in the semiconductor and auto industries. She has previously held an adjunct faculty position in the mechanical engineering department teaching the capstone design course at George Washington University. From 2019 to 2020 she was an ASME Congressional Science and Engineering Fellow on a one year leave of absence from STPI where she worked for the majority staff of the House Science Space and Technology Committee, Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics. Dr. Balakrishnan has a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois. Both her MS and PhD are in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.