In Memoriam: Sally K. Ride, Ph.D.

President and Chief Executive Officer
Sally Ride Science

Sally K. Ride, Ph.D. passed away on July 23, 2012 after a courageous 17-month battle with Pancreatic Cancer. See the Change the Equation Board's tribute to Dr. Ride.

Dr. Ride was the President and CEO of Sally Ride Science, and a Professor (Emeritus) at the University of California, San Diego. Sally Ride Science is a science education company dedicated to supporting girls’ and boys’ interests in science, technology, engineering and math,

She was best known as America’s first woman in space. She flew in space twice, first in 1983 aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger, and again aboard Challenger in 1984.  She then served as NASA's first director of Strategic Planning and the first Director of NASA's Office of Exploration. Dr. Ride was the only person to have served on the Accident Investigation Boards of both the Space Shuttle Challenger and Space Shuttle Columbia accidents.

After leaving NASA, Dr. Ride joined the faculty at UCSD as a Professor of Physics and Director of the University of California's California Space Institute. Long an advocate for improved science education, Dr Ride wrote seven science books for children: To Space and Back, Voyager; The Third Planet, The Mystery of Mars, Exploring Our Solar System. Mission: Planet Earth, and Mission: Save the Planet. She also initiated and directed education projects designed to fuel middle school students’ fascination with science. In 2001 she founded her own company, Sally Ride Science, to pursue her long-time passion: motivating girls and young women to pursue careers in science, math and technology.

Dr. Ride was a member of the President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology for eight years, a member of the National Research Council's Space Studies Board, and served on the Boards of the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, the Carnegie Institution of Washington, and the NCAA Foundation. She was a Fellow of the American Physical Society, chaired the External Advisory Council for Deloitte’s Women’s Initiative and served on the Boards of the Aerospace Corporation and the California Institute of Technology.

Dr. Ride received numerous honors and awards. She was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame, the California Hall of Fame, the Aviation Hall of Fame, and the Astronaut Hall of Fame. She received the Jefferson Award for Public Service, the von Braun Award, the Lindbergh Eagle, and the NCAA’s Theodore Roosevelt Award, and was twice awarded the National Spaceflight Medal.

Dr. Ride received her B.S in Physics, B.A in English, and M.S. and PhD in Physics from Stanford University.