Margaret Vo Schaus was sworn in as NASA’s new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in a recent public ceremony, making her one of the most influential Vietnamese-Americans in government.

Early life

Margaret Vo Schaus was born in Michigan and raised in Southern California where her family settled after leaving Vietnam as refugees. Vo Schaus attended Stanford University's Graduate School of Education where she earned degrees in Science, Technology, Society and English, as well as a master’s in Management Science and Engineering.

Big Bang Career

Vo Schaus has had a decorated career in government policy and administration including holding executive positions in the Department of Defense and Department of Energy.

As Director for Business Operations in the Office of the Under Secretary of Research and Engineering at the Department of Defense, Vo Schaus oversaw multibillion-dollar budgets that allocated funds in various research and technology sectors.

She was also the recipient of three prestigious awards: The Office of Secretary Defense's Exceptional Civilian Service Award, Department Of Energy’s Distinguished Career Service Awards and the most esteemed honor - The Secretary of Energy Honor Award.

A woman on a mission

Sworn in by Administrator Bill Nelson, during the ceremony, Vo Schaus expressed gratitude to Joe Biden for giving her "the opportunity of overseeing NASA’s budget and to help carry out the agency's groundbreaking missions."

For Vo Schaus, “The budget is more than just financial management – it is crucial to supporting the world's most talented workforce and maintaining mission support.”

Margaret Vo Schaus was sworn in as NASA’s new CFO
Margaret Vo Schaus was sworn in as NASA’s new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) @ NASA

In her public statement, Vo Schaus mentioned she plans to uphold NASA’s values in its efforts to “create educational opportunities, combat climate change, build back better and venture out farther into the cosmos than ever before.”

During her speech, Schaus also paid tribute to America, which has given her, a first-generation American, and her family so much. “I am deeply grateful to my parents who, as Vietnamese refugees, overcame innumerable hurdles so their children could pursue the American dream. I wouldn’t be here today without their sacrifices,” she added. 

Administrator Bill Nelson commented that with her wealth of experience in the public sector, Vo Schaus will successfully "bring NASA’s goals and missions from concept to reality.”

The Future of NASA

As NASA prepares to land a pioneering mission of women and people of color on the moon for the first time in 2024, Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy remarks that “Under Margaret’s leadership, NASA will advance its goals and missions and continue the agency’s legacy as home to the best workforce in the world”.

Exciting times ahead for equality in the cosmos!

Galactic inspiration 

It's people like Margaret Vo Schaus who inspire all of us to achieve great things in our life. If this has sparked a little motivation and inspiration to try something new, why not check out our top things to get stuck into this week for that final piece of the productive puzzle!

Source - Bryan Ke, Yahoo News, 05/08/21, https://news.yahoo.com/daughter-vietnamese-refugees-margaret-Schaus-164818719.html - Accessed 09/08/21