2019 Government Innovation Awards

Rising Star: Anna Cordrey

Deputy Program Manager, NASA

Anna Cordrey 

Anna Cordrey traveled around the world and taught yoga and English in Thailand before she joined the staff at NASA. She still strives to maintain a healthy work/life balance and has even taught a yoga class for her co-workers.

Cordrey handles the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs at NASA. They provide about $200 million in annual awards to small companies to help them design and market their technology to NASA. In that role, she oversees the processing of more than 3,000 proposals and 600 awards annually.

She is also modernizing the decades-old Electronic Handbook, the IT system that manages the proposal solicitation and award process from beginning to end. It is “basically our master tracker for everything,” Cordrey said.

Colleagues say she succeeds because she is passionate about identifying and solving problems. But Cordrey credits her family and friends for her success — her immigrant parents who had big dreams for her, her mentors at NASA, her husband and her three children.

“Every day, I wake up loving life, knowing that my full potential as a human being on this Earth is still to come because of the support of these people,” Cordrey said.

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