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Dorothy J. Zukor graduated with a B.A. in Physics from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland (1972), an M.S. degree in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Maryland (1976), and a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Maryland (1982). From 1979-1981, Dr. Zukor served as a Fellow for the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) where she researched specific issues for Committee members and represented the Committee on task forces and at meetings. Following her tour with the ACRS, she worked with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) analyzing nuclear reactor incidents. She then moved to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center as a Payload Safety Manager for the Attached Shuttle Payloads Project (1986-1988).
From 1988-1990, she served as the Assistant Executive Officer to NASA Headquarters' Administrators Admiral Richard H. Truly and Dr. James C. Fletcher. In that capacity, she worked directly with the Administrator to assure that he was kept informed of issues and activities in a timely manner and coordinated all NASA activities with the White House. In addition, she worked with other Senior NASA officials to assure that the Administrator's directions were properly communicated and implemented.
From 1990-1992, she held the position of Associate Director for Projects Engineering for the Earth Sciences Directorate where she was responsible for providing guidance and coordination to all Earth Sciences projects in matters pertaining to systems engineering and instrumentation. In 1996, she led the Goddard Strategic Planning Team, which helped chart the course for Goddard's future.
She served as the Earth Science Directorate’s senior advisor for the design and construction of the Earth System Science Building (Bldg. 33), which houses most of the Center's Earth scientists to encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration.
From 1993-2014 she served as the Deputy Director of the Earth Sciences Directorate and following that as Associate Director of the Earth Sciences Division following a reorganization.
Dr. Zukor was the Sciences and Exploration Directorate representative to the Center level Diversity & Inclusion Committee. She also served as the Center's Mentoring and Coaching Champion.
She is a Certified Integral Master CoachTM and is an accredited Associate Certified Coach (ACC) with the International Coaching Federation (ICF).