By Roadtrip Nation

Elaine Ho


My road in life has taken me all over.
I received an ROTC scholarship from the U.S. Air Force, which paid my way through school.
I earned my bachelor’s degree in civil and environmental engineering and then went to law school.
After graduating, I started my career as a criminal prosecutor with the U.S. Air Force JAG Corps.
I spent four years in the Air Force and then decided to transition out and go into private practice, where I specialized in employment law.
I eventually decided to step away from law to work in diversity and inclusion—I served in DEI roles for both the Department of Agriculture and the IRS.
I then got the opportunity to work at the White House for the Office of the First Lady, where I helped implement Michelle Obama’s Let Girls Learn initiative.
I cycled through the White House two more times—I worked for the United States Digital Service and in the National Space Council.
My work with the National Space Council led to my current role now at NASA.
Keep following my journey


High School
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Duke University Pratt School of Engineering
University of Florida


Deputy Associate Administrator, STEM Engagement Program

I get students excited about STEM careers by connecting them to NASA's missions.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Upholding a Cause and Belief

Day to Day

I work with my team of employees to brainstorm ideas, remove obstacles for them, and help them bounce their ideas around. I also do a lot of "people work" for my team. For example, maybe someone can't get their work done because of outside circumstances or maybe two people aren't getting along. I step in to help relieve those issues. And finally, I also get to go out and talk to the people I hope are benefiting from the work that NASA is doing.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

I encourage others to talk to a lot of different people and build relationships. Reach out to people working in a role that you're interested in and ask them questions. That's a great way to explore what a certain job or industry might be like. It's also important to do a really good job at whatever you're doing, whether that's a class project, grade, or anything else. Doing great work is how you'll stand out. You'll get noticed and people will want to give you opportunities.


The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"I'm not sure if I'm the right person for this job."