Dr. Scott Parazynski is a highly decorated physician, astronaut, and tech CEO, recently inducted into the US Astronaut Hall of Fame. He is a widely sought after keynote speaker on innovation, risk management, mentorship and leadership under extreme adversity.
Scott has lived and traveled all over the world, spending many of his grade school years in places such as Senegal, Lebanon, Iran and Greece. A graduate of Stanford University and Medical School, he went on to train at Harvard and in Denver for a career in emergency medicine and trauma.
In 1992 he was selected to join NASA's Astronaut Corps and eventually flew 5 Space Shuttle missions and conducted 7 spacewalks. Mission highlights include a global ozone mapping flight; leading the first joint US-Russian spacewalk while docked to the Russian space station Mir; serving as Senator John Glenn's crewmate and "personal physician"; and assembly of the Canadian-built space station robotic arm.
In October 2007, Scott led the spacewalking team on STS-120, during which he performed 4 extravehicular activities (EVAs). The final EVA is regarded by many as one of the most challenging and dangerous ever performed. The tremendous coordinated effort in orbit and on the ground by Mission Control has been likened to the Space Shuttle and Space Station era's "Apollo 13 moment."
In addition to being a diver and accomplished mountaineer, Scott is also a commercial, instrument, multiengine and seaplane-rated pilot. On May 20, 2009, he became the first – and, so far, only - astronaut to stand on top of the world. As a life-long explorer, he and colleague Sam Cossman recently set the first bootprints adjacent the world’s youngest lava lake, inside the crater of Massaya Volcano in Nicaragua.
He is a prolific inventor/product developer, and serves on the Boards of several companies. He recently founded Apogee Interests to commercialize his extensive innovation portfolio, including medical devices, consumer products and gear developed for extreme environments. He is Founder and CEO of Fluidity Technologies, focused on the development of revolutionary input devices powered by machine learning to intuitively move through physical and virtual space.
Scott has delivered hundreds of major keynotes to audiences all over the world, on topics ranging from innovation, leadership in extreme environments, risk management, mentorship and perseverance. He’s also inspired students, from pre-K to post-doctoral fellows, and given Grand Rounds at some of the world’s most prestigious medical schools and hospitals.
"Your experiences as a NASA astronaut and adventurer gave our business audience a fresh perspective on the "No Guts, No Glory" conference theme and helped set the positive tone for the rest of the event. Our goal was to provide participants with new strategies and avenues for success in a changing economy, and your talk helped us achieve the right collective mindset to start things off."
"Please find enclosed a letter from our students which I think encapsulates how we all felt about your visit. ... perhaps one of the most inspiring hours we have ever had."
"A real-life adventurer, Scott Parazynski M.D. took the audience on a journey to the top of the Earth and beyond through his stories and magnificent photographs. On a night for Special Olympics Texas to take a look through time and marvel at 40 years of memories, Scott Parazynski demonstrated that he too shares the belief that no dream is too big and anything is possible."