Name: Gwynne Shotwell
Job title: President of Space Explorations Technology Corporation (SpaceX)
Why she's powerful: Shotwell is responsible for day-to-day operations for arguably one of the most exciting companies on the planet, and off it.
SpaceX designs, manufacturers and launches rockets and has a $1.6 billion contract with NASA to carry supplies to the International Space Station. But the company's ultimate goal is "enabling people to live on other planets," it says.
She joined SpaceX in 2002, the year it was funded, as vice president of business development and helped build the Falcon family of rockets, leading them to over 40 launches, and $3 billion in revenue.
She is also on SpaceX's board of directors.
Prior to SpaceX, Shotwell spent more than a decade at Aerospace Corp. holding engineering and tech positions, working herself up to chief engineer of a satellite program. She also managed a landmark study for the FAA on commercial space transportation, too, and was a director of Microcosm's Space Systems Division.
She's involved in science and tech education through the Frank J. Redd Student Scholarship Competition, helping it $350,000 in scholarships in six years.
Shotwell has master's degrees from Northwestern University in mechanical engineering and applied mathematics and has penned dozens of papers on spacecraft design and engineering.