The fearless leader behind the team at The Planetary Society is Jennifer Vaughn, our chief operating officer. She started with the Society working on The Planetary Report in 1997, moving up from Editorial Assistant to Managing Editor to Director of Publications. In time, her passion for The Planetary Society and her aptitude for management led her to the Chief Operating Officer position shortly after Bill Nye took the helm as Chief Executive Officer.
From forging partnerships to overseeing program implementation to managing the strategic planning process to hiring new staff, Jennifer does it all. Day-to-day, you’ll most often find her planning a meeting or in a meeting with staff, directors, board members, donors, members, partners, or sometimes, even herself. She’s passionate about people and the power of teamwork. A dedicated support system for the staff, Jennifer devotes time from her days to help cultivate each individual’s skills and goals so that both the Society and the individual grow in a positive way.
Jennifer also manages to have a life outside of The Planetary Society in which she owns a dance studio and performance space. She does all of this with a smile and an attitude so optimistic you might think she’s faking it—she’s not.
I explore space because I like feeling insignificant. I crave a dark night sky that reminds me that our Sun and even our galaxy are not unique. I find comfort in thinking about countless generations of humans looking at the same sky and asking questions similar to the ones I ask.