Phenix City native Angelia Walker’s Surprise Opportunity Leads to 3 Decades with NASA


Deputy Director of Safety and Mission Assurance at Marshall Space Flight Center, Angelia Walker, photographed in her office for “hometown” press release.
Credits: NASA/Fred Deaton

In 1987, Phenix City Native Angelia Walker was a month into her first semester at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. Walker had earned an electrical engineering degree from Tuskegee University in 1986. She spent a year working at Polaroid in Boston. Walker returned South to get married and be with her husband, Sam, who was attending Emory University in Atlanta.

One Friday, just before leaving her house for class, Walker got a call from NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Marshall had an offer, the caller said. Could she be ready to start work as a quality engineer on Monday?

Unbeknownst to Walker, a college friend’s sister worked at Marshall, and Walker’s resume found its way to Marshall’s human resources department. That led to the call that changed her life.

“It was nothing short of a miracle,” added Walker, who in May was appointed to the Senior Executive Service position of deputy director of Marshall’s Spacecraft and Vehicle Systems Department. “I didn’t apply. I didn’t know how I got here.”

During her 31-year career, Walker has earned a Space Flight Awareness Honoree award; a Silver Snoopy award, which honors NASA civil servants and contractors chosen by the astronaut corps for outstanding service to human spaceflight; multiple Director’s Commendations and a number of Special Service and Group Achievement awards.


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