Press Release

Former NASA Astronaut Named Challenger Center Chairman

By SpaceRef Editor
August 29, 2019
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Former NASA Astronaut and current Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems executive Robert Curbeam is the new Chairman of Challenger Center, a leading science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education organization. Curbeam replaces Virginia Barnes, Retired Vice President and Program Manager, Space Launch System, The Boeing Company, who completed her two-year term as Chairwoman this August.


“I am honored to take on the role of Chairman of Challenger Center,” said Robert Curbeam. “I strongly believe in the importance of the mission of this organization. I know that we can continue to carry forward the Challenger crew’s vision and inspire more students than ever before. Challenger Center is transforming and growing, and I am thrilled to be a part of it.” 


Challenger Center also announced the addition of Darryl Britt to its board of directors. Britt, President and Founder of Apprio Inc., a provider of specialized technology solutions, brings more than 25 years of experiences in the technology sector.  


“I’m thrilled to welcome Darryl Britt to the board of directors,” said Lance Bush, President and CEO, Challenger Center. “His addition to the board is purposeful and significant. As a leader in technology and software product development, Darryl’s perspective and knowledge will help guide us as we build and create new innovative programs that promote STEM education and expand our reach from hundreds of thousands to millions of students.” 


Britt has been a founding member of several technology firms during his 25-plus years in business. His experience spans various executive positions which include leading both technology and software product development organizations for public, private, and startup companies. Under his leadership, Apprio experienced significant growth, resulting in the firm being honored as one of the fast-growing companies according to Inc. magazine, the Washington Business Journal and Deloitte Consulting. Britt earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA.


The organization also announced several committee changes. Josh Izenberg, Co-Founder and COO, Off-World, Inc., will now serve as chair of the audit/finance committee. Warren Boley, owner and board member of Boley Tool and Machine, and Senior Partner at Warton Investment, will serve as chair of the development and governance committee, replacing Curbeam who previously served as the committee chair. 


To see a full list of Challenger Center board members, visit


About Challenger Center 
As a leader in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, Challenger Center provides more than 250,000 students annually with experiential education programs that engage students in hands-on learning opportunities. These programs, delivered in Challenger Learning Centers and classrooms, strengthen knowledge in STEM subjects and inspire students to pursue careers in these important fields. Challenger Center was created by the Challenger families to honor the crew of shuttle flight STS-51-L. For more information about Challenger Center, please visit or connect on Facebook and Twitter 

SpaceRef staff editor.