Roberta Bondar OC, O.On, MD, PhD, FRCP, FRSC is Canada’s first female astronaut and the first neurologist in space. For more than a decade she was NASA’s head of space medicine and now consultants and speakers to business, scientific, and medical communities. She has received such honors as the Order of Canada, the Order of Ontario, the NASA Space Medal, over 22 honorary degrees and induction into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. Seeing the world through the lenses of a medical doctor, scientist, photographer, astronaut and author, Bondar follows her family’s tradition of excellence in teaching.
Trained as a member of NASA’s Earth Observation Team she expanded her professional photographic expertise. After her space mission, she continued her photographic explorations honing her artistic and technical skills as an honors student in Professional Nature Photography.
A cross-discipline thought leader with groundbreaking insights on the environment, innovation, discovery and leadership, Dr. Bondar is one of North America’s most sought-after and respected presenters. Meeting and conference planners from organizations as diverse as Yale University, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Gartner, Investors Group, Capgemini, Pfizer, Oracle, the FBI and many more have come to depend on her as a valued partner in planning and delivering customized presentations that consistently move audiences to their next level.
Dr. Bondar draws on her remarkable depth of expertise as an astronaut, physician, scientific researcher, photographer, author, environment interpreter and team leader to stimulate, motivate, educate and inspire. By customizing each speech and keynote, she brings added value with her maturity, wisdom gained from “in the trenches” life experiences, broad educational background and depth of personality. This unique combination will ensure that any event will be extraordinary.
Personal and Professional Goals – An Advanced Ethic
We all want to lead happy productive lives and it is fulfilling when both personal and professional lives can feed off each other. As far as I have seen on Earth and beyond, nothing is clearer than the fact that we have a precious relatively short Earth-life. It makes sense to develop ourselves for each hour that we are awake by learning from the potential life experiences all around us.
Management Lessons from Space
Successful businesses anticipate and respond rapidly to a world in constant flux where human relations are keys to effective change. As professional flexibility reflects personal adaptability, valued team members know when to lead, when to follow and when to stay the course. They embrace culture challenges as positive influences on both their continued professional and personal development.
Never a Distance too Great: Bridges for Life
It is not enough just to advocate a vision: you must realize it. The gap between a dream and reality is bridged with interest and insight, skill and determination, focus and discipline. Because of their timeless value, these bridges also give us the flexibility that we will need in the future to cope with inevitable change. Dynamic bridges of the human mind can be virtual or real, but they must be agile. They form the link between other worlds, ideas and relationships.
Vision and Leadership
In a world of extremes, a leader’s vision must be bold yet within reach of fellow team members. Sharing a vision is more than setting out objectives and goals for other to follow. If there is no overlap of interest or passion by everyone, a vision will be blind to fulfilling its potential. By definition, a leader knows about leadership but a successful leader understands followership. Experience offers each of us an opportunity to learn from another person’s life lesions which combine the richness of education, with the insight of critical thinking. By linking this resource to respect for a shared vision, a strong team will be focused on success.
Astronaut Dr. Roberta Bondar World’s First Neurologist in Space
The world’s first neurologist in space, Dr. Roberta Bondar is globally recognized for her pioneering contribution to space medicine research. Aboard the Discovery mission STS-42 in 1992 she conducted experiments in the shuttle’s first international microgravity laboratory.
For more than a decade at NASA Dr. Bondar headed an international research team, continuing to find new connections between astronauts recovering from the microgravity of space and neurological illnesses here on Earth. Her techniques have been used in clinical studies at the B. I. Deaconess Medical Center, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School and at the University of New Mexico. Dr. Bondar served two terms as Chancellor of Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario.
A true renaissance woman, Dr. Bondar is an acclaimed photographer of the environment. She is the author of four best-selling photo essay books featuring her stunning photography of the Earth. Her photographic works may be found in private, corporate and institutional collections in Canada, the U.S. and England.
An author, environmental educator and celebrated landscape photographer, Dr. Bondar has also earned a reputation as a leading speaker and consultant within the medical and scientific communities, and in the field of corporate social responsibility and care for the Earth’s environment. She co-founded The Roberta Bondar Foundation, a charitable organization to improve our understanding of the environment.
Dr. Bondar has been recognized with the NASA Space Medal, inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame and into the International Women’s Forum Hall of Fame for her pioneering research in space medicine. She is a recipient of the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario and has received 24 honorary doctorates from North American universities. In 2003 TIME magazine named her among North America’s best explorers. In 2011, Dr. Bondar received her own star on Canada’s Walk of Fame.