Dr. Mindy Howard is symbolic of someone who has set out to passionately achieve her dreams and is reaching the uppermost heights in her chosen field.
American and Dutch, Dr. Howard obtained her Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science in Industrial Engineering in the United States and her Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands.
Now living in the Netherlands, Dr Howard’s life ambition was always to become an astronaut. Narrowed down from thousands to the last 200 candidates, she was selected by NASA as a “Highly Qualified Astronaut Candidate”, following the conclusion of her Ph.D. Despite not making the final selection to become an astronaut, she refused to let her dream go without a fight.
Having worked internationally as a sustainability manager, strategy leader, diversity and inclusiveness manager, people manager, and trainer in several blue-chip corporations. Dr Howard’s background started out in the oil industry. In her last job at Royal Dutch Shell, she was the Sustainability Manager in one of the global businesses as she tried to change hearts and minds, within the company and the leadership, to become more sustainable. Travelling the globe, working in over 35 different countries in extreme environments (e.g. offshore), Dr Howard was able to explore different countries and appreciate different people and their cultures.
After leaving the oil industry, Dr Mindy Howard decided to reignite her dream and complete her training on what it felt like to be a commercial astronaut while undergoing 6Gs in a human centrifuge. It was when she saw others trainees struggling in the centrifuge, that she saw a need to help commercial astronauts psychologically prepare for the rigours of space flight.
Striving towards her goal of becoming an astronaut, and wanting to help others do the same, Dr Howard harnessed her academic and professional skills to create the first and only psychological space training for commercial astronauts, called “Inner Space Training”, in the emerging field of commercial/new space. In addition, Dr Howard is working for Blue Abyss Ltd., the world’s first commercial astronaut training centre as the Director of Inner Space Training. She is also a Guest Lecturer at the International Space University.
As one of the few commercial astronaut trainers in this new field, she has been asked to accompany a team of people who will win a “once in a lifetime” trip to space. The competition, called ‘Career Astronauts’, will see her take on the role of astronaut trainer and coach for the lucky winners and will achieve her dream by flying with them to space in 2023.
A fully trained flight member for the Association of Spaceflight Professionals, Dr. Mindy Howard has also written and presented publications on a variety of subjects at various international scientific and space conferences. Her extensive knowledge has resulted in appearances in the media, both on national TV, Discovery Channel, Dutch TV and radio as a “space correspondent” both in the United States and in Europe. She has just recently published her book called, “Blast Off! Train like an astronaut for success on earth”. The first book to use the techniques of commercial astronaut training to help people maintain the anxiety-free emotional equilibrium and sustained mental focus needed to successfully overcome the day-to-day challenges and obstacles in their personal and professional lives.
Dr Mindy Howard’s keynotes helps teach high performing individuals achieve peak performance, and also can create the conditions to enable a peak experience, like the “Overview Effect”. Her talks and training are not only valuable for people training to go to space but also for high performing individuals and executive teams.
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