Florence Tan

Deputy Chief Technologist

NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) at NASA HQ

Florence Tan is the Deputy Chief Technologist (DCT) for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) at NASA HQ. As the SMD DCT, she supports the SMD Chief Technologist in surveying, assessing, and determining SMD’s technology needs and promoting the strategic advancement of cutting-edge technologies for NASA’s science. She also serves as the Chair of the Small Spacecraft Coordination Group (SSCG) at NASA Headquarters (HQ). In her capacity as SSCG Chair, she leads the SSCG to coordinate and develop NASA’s strategy and vision for small spacecraft in science, exploration missions, and technology activities and provide advice to the Associate Administrators of the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD), Space Operations Mission Directorate (SOMD) and SMD.

Previously, Florence Tan worked at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) for 32 years and had various roles in design, build, integration, test, and operations of eight 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, and multiple NASA Group Achievement Awards including the NASA Silver Achievement Medal Honor Award and 2022 Tatler Asia’s “100 Most Influential  Women” list. She has made it a personal goal to promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education, and she actively engages in outreach activities with students and the public to promote NASA science and technology advancements multiple times per year since 2001.

Florence Tan holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Maryland, and a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Johns Hopkins University. She is a 200-hour trained yoga teacher and is also certified as a Group Fitness Instructor with the American Council of Exercise (ACE) and taught yoga daily for 2 years during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is originally from Malaysia and is married to another NASA engineer and they have 2 grown daughters.