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Risk Communications Specialist

 Alumna Abigail Ettinger - Pepperdine University


Risk Communications Specialist
Launch Approval Planning Group NASA-Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Pasadena, California

MPP, Pepperdine University, 2002
Specialization: American Politics

BA, History,
University of California, Davis, 2000

As a practicing political operative, I appreciated (and still do) how Pepperdine's rigorous curriculum and open-door policy with professors enriched my understanding of politics, political history, leadership, and what it takes to be a true statesman in today's political ballgame. I was fortunate to work for Los Angeles Mayor Jim Hahn upon completion of my master's degree in public policy. A fellow Pepperdine alumnus, Mayor Hahn embodied our traditions of dignity and leadership in government. Serving Jim Hahn for more than four years as harbor district director, I directed his public relations, events, government relations, and public affairs operations from south Watts to San Pedro and the mayor's seven-mile waterfront redevelopment project.

Using my political education and leadership experience, I ventured into risk communications for controversial deep-space and planetary exploration programs. As one of three risk communications specialists for NASA-JPL, I work to create better understanding of controversial programmatic elements in the world's leading space missions.