Top 100 Aerospace and Aviation Professionals to Follow On LinkedIn 2021: 94. Dr. Michaelyn Thomas

Dr. Michaelyn Thomas

Dr. Michaelyn Thomas

Head of Affordability and Executive Sponsor of Teammates for Women Empowerment at Virgin Orbit

Average Post Engagement:



United States

What I use Linkedin for:

LinkedIn is a wonderful platform to connect with people across the globe. I use LinkedIn to grow, to learn, and to network with diverse professionals and students at all levels. I have met some wonderful people and I have been afforded many opportunities to share my deep passion for space exploration and scientific discovery.

Number of Followers:



Aerospace, particularly the space sector

Who am I:

I am on a mission to encourage as many underrepresented groups as possible to pursue STEM education and careers by leveraging my personal experience and partnering with dedicated allies across the globe. I always strive to be an example, and through mentorship, allyship, and sponsorship, STEM education and careers will become more accessible and equitable for everyone.

I have three publications entitled:

1) “Exploring the advancement of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) executive management positions in the aerospace industry: Strategies identified by women that enable success”;

2) “Empowering women to take on STEM leadership positions within the aerospace industry”; and

3) “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work on rockets: My top three reasons why the aerospace industry needs you”. I hold a doctoral degree in organizational leadership; a master’s degree in space systems engineering; a master’s degree in business administration (MBA); a bachelor’s degree in political science, public law; and a minor degree in Russian language. My diverse academic background has led to a fruitful and well-rounded space career.

What I do:

I am an aerospace leader based out of Long Beach, California, USA. I work on space systems and I program manage spaceport development at Virgin Orbit. It is my job to make rocket science affordable and accessible by democratizing space.

I also serve as a mentor, a sponsor, and an ally to everyone pursing STEM education and careers. I do this through my inclusive and supportive employer, as well as the “Spaced Out Doc” community I founded at There, I provide a regular fix of space chatter through a female perspective while emphasizing the importance of allyship, and I encourage all underrepresented groups to keep persisting, to dream wildly, and to plan ferociously for whatever they aim to achieve.

Why you should follow me on Linkedin:

I am a positive person and I aim to find the opportunity in every unfavorable situation. I mentor many, and my online presence sparks inspiration and innovation in others. Through challenges, I remind people to turn any negativity received into the power needed to fuel their greatness.

Who I follow on Linkedin:

I follow many inspirational leaders on LinkedIn, too many to list! However, I follow those who want to make a positive impact within their respective professional communities while building a positive sphere of influence.

My favourite or most successful post:

While this post highlighted my academic accomplishments, it proved to be a source of inspiration to many professionals and students alike who look like me, as well as my allies. I found this post to be very successful because many have reached out for academic and career guidance, and I was able to elaborate on my experience and point them to sound resources.

Pineapple EMPIRE’s mission is to accelerate the world to the New Space Economy.

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