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Leland Melvin

Engineer, Former NASA Astronaut & Former NFL Wide Receiver

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 Leland Melvin Biography

Leland Melvin is an engineer, educator, former NASA astronaut and NFL wide receiver. He served on board the Space Shuttle Atlantis as a mission specialist on mission STS-122 (2008) and STS-129 (2009), helping to construct the International Space Station.

Leland served co-chair of the White House’s Federal Coordination in STEM Education Task Force and as NASA Associate Administrator for Education.

“Houston, we have a problem.” Leland Melvin was 25 feet under water in the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory, a 6 million gallon pool, training to perform spacewalks as a NASA astronaut when he called the test director and asked him to turn the volume up in his headset. He never heard a reply and was immediately hoisted out of the pool to learn that he was deaf. Emergency surgery resulting in only partial recovery to his hearing led him to being medically disqualified to fly in space by NASA flight surgeons.

This is just one of the many career ending challenges Leland has overcome in his life. Before becoming an astronaut Leland was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the 1986 College Draft to play professional football but a hamstring injury thwarted his NFL career with Detroit and then later with the Dallas Cowboys. Through determination and perseverance Leland ultimately traveled off-planet twice on Space Shuttle Atlantis to help construct the International Space Station, logging a over 565 hours in space. Leland is the only person drafted into the National Football League to have flown in space. The Pro Football Hall of Fame honored his athletic and academic accomplishments by placing his Detroit Lions jersey under glass in Canton, Ohio. Through these professional experiences working on high stakes teams he developed a deep and nuanced understanding of effective team dynamics.

Leland has a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and a master’s degree in materials science engineering. He worked at NASA Langley Research Center in the area of nondestructive testing creating optical fiber sensors for measuring damage in aerospace vehicles resulting in publications in numerous scientific journals. After hanging up his space boots he was appointed head of NASA Education and served as the co-chair on the White House’s Federal Coordination in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Task Force developing the nation’s 5-year STEM education plan. Leland was the United States representative and chair of the International Space Education Board (ISEB), a global collaboration in space. He uses his life story as an athlete, astronaut, scientist, engineer, photographer, and musician to help inspire the next generation of explorers to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM) careers. Leland was also recently seen as the host of the Lifetime competition series "Child Genius" and as a judge for ABC's robot competition series "BattleBots." He was featured on National Geographic's "One Strange Rock", hosted by Will Smith, where he explained how his brain repaired itself after an injury that left him deaf and almost stopped him from ever going to space. Leland was also a consultant for the second season of National Geographic's "Mars."

Leland holds four honorary doctorates for his service in education, the sciences, and philanthropy. He was chosen as an ICON MANN with Quincy Jones, Forrest Whitaker, Steve Harvey and 24 other men selected for their ability to inspire people of all ages through their vision and commitment to creating positive change throughout the world. Leland has been honored with the NFL Players Association “Award of Excellence” for inspiring athletes to pursue excellence on and off the field.

He has written a chapter on the power of visualization in Venus Williams’ book "Come to Win." Leland has appeared on "Top Chef" as a celebrity judge and "Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmerman," while Cesar Milan helped him with his unruly pooch Jake on an episode of "The Dog Whisperer." He was featured in a Sci Fi Channel program documenting the making of the “Reach for the Stars” will.i.am song, which was transmitted to Mars and back to inspire students to pursue STEAM. After 24 years with NASA as a researcher, astronaut, and Senior Executive Service leader, Leland looks to share his stories of perseverance and excellence to inspire communities for lasting positive change.

In May, Leland released his memoir, "Chasing Space: An Astronaut's Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances." In "Chasing Space," Leland shares his personal journey from the gridiron to the stars, and examine the intersecting roles of community, perseverance, and grace that align to create the opportunities for success.

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Chasing Space: An Astronaut's Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances

Chasing Space: An Astronaut's Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances

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FAQs
  • HOW TO BOOK Leland Melvin?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Leland Melvin for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Leland Melvin, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Leland Melvin or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BOOK Leland Melvin?

    Booking fees for Leland Melvin, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Leland Melvin, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • WHO IS THE AGENT FOR Leland Melvin?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Leland Melvin for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Leland Melvin for your next private or corporate function.
  • WHAT IS A FULL-SERVICE TALENT BOOKING AGENCY?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Leland Melvin or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Leland Melvin or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.
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This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent, and wish to request removal from this catalog or report an issue with your profile, please click here.

Leland Melvin

Engineer, Former NASA Astronaut & Former NFL Wide Receiver

Travels From:
Lynchburg, VA, USA
Speaking Fee:

Leland Melvin Biography

Leland Melvin is an engineer, educator, former NASA astronaut and NFL wide receiver. He served on board the Space Shuttle Atlantis as a mission specialist on mission STS-122 (2008) and STS-129 (2009), helping to construct the International Space Station.

Leland served co-chair of the White House’s Federal Coordination in STEM Education Task Force and as NASA Associate Administrator for Education.

“Houston, we have a problem.” Leland Melvin was 25 feet under water in the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory, a 6 million gallon pool, training to perform spacewalks as a NASA astronaut when he called the test director and asked him to turn the volume up in his headset. He never heard a reply and was immediately hoisted out of the pool to learn that he was deaf. Emergency surgery resulting in only partial recovery to his hearing led him to being medically disqualified to fly in space by NASA flight surgeons.

This is just one of the many career ending challenges Leland has overcome in his life. Before becoming an astronaut Leland was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the 1986 College Draft to play professional football but a hamstring injury thwarted his NFL career with Detroit and then later with the Dallas Cowboys. Through determination and perseverance Leland ultimately traveled off-planet twice on Space Shuttle Atlantis to help construct the International Space Station, logging a over 565 hours in space. Leland is the only person drafted into the National Football League to have flown in space. The Pro Football Hall of Fame honored his athletic and academic accomplishments by placing his Detroit Lions jersey under glass in Canton, Ohio. Through these professional experiences working on high stakes teams he developed a deep and nuanced understanding of effective team dynamics.

Leland has a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and a master’s degree in materials science engineering. He worked at NASA Langley Research Center in the area of nondestructive testing creating optical fiber sensors for measuring damage in aerospace vehicles resulting in publications in numerous scientific journals. After hanging up his space boots he was appointed head of NASA Education and served as the co-chair on the White House’s Federal Coordination in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Task Force developing the nation’s 5-year STEM education plan. Leland was the United States representative and chair of the International Space Education Board (ISEB), a global collaboration in space. He uses his life story as an athlete, astronaut, scientist, engineer, photographer, and musician to help inspire the next generation of explorers to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM) careers. Leland was also recently seen as the host of the Lifetime competition series "Child Genius" and as a judge for ABC's robot competition series "BattleBots." He was featured on National Geographic's "One Strange Rock", hosted by Will Smith, where he explained how his brain repaired itself after an injury that left him deaf and almost stopped him from ever going to space. Leland was also a consultant for the second season of National Geographic's "Mars."

Leland holds four honorary doctorates for his service in education, the sciences, and philanthropy. He was chosen as an ICON MANN with Quincy Jones, Forrest Whitaker, Steve Harvey and 24 other men selected for their ability to inspire people of all ages through their vision and commitment to creating positive change throughout the world. Leland has been honored with the NFL Players Association “Award of Excellence” for inspiring athletes to pursue excellence on and off the field.

He has written a chapter on the power of visualization in Venus Williams’ book "Come to Win." Leland has appeared on "Top Chef" as a celebrity judge and "Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmerman," while Cesar Milan helped him with his unruly pooch Jake on an episode of "The Dog Whisperer." He was featured in a Sci Fi Channel program documenting the making of the “Reach for the Stars” will.i.am song, which was transmitted to Mars and back to inspire students to pursue STEAM. After 24 years with NASA as a researcher, astronaut, and Senior Executive Service leader, Leland looks to share his stories of perseverance and excellence to inspire communities for lasting positive change.

In May, Leland released his memoir, "Chasing Space: An Astronaut's Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances." In "Chasing Space," Leland shares his personal journey from the gridiron to the stars, and examine the intersecting roles of community, perseverance, and grace that align to create the opportunities for success.

Leland Melvin Videos

  • One on One with Keynote Speaker, Leland Melvin
    We had the opportunity to get one-on-one with keynote speaker Leland Melvin following his great keynote presentation in our general session.
  • How I overcame disability to become a NASA astronaut | Leland Melvin
    Leland Melvin was told he'd never be an astronaut after he lost all his hearing. He got a chance to fly to space and honor the legacy of his friends...
  • What humanity will gain by going to Mars | Leland Melvin
    It might take going to another planet for different nations to finally, once and for all , learn how to get along with each other.

Leland Melvin Books

Speaker Lists Featuring Leland Melvin

FAQs on booking Leland Melvin

  • How to book Leland Melvin?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Leland Melvin for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Leland Melvin, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Leland Melvin or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • How much does it cost to book Leland Melvin?

    Booking fees for Leland Melvin, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Leland Melvin, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • Who is the agent for Leland Melvin?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Leland Melvin for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Leland Melvin for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service talent booking agency?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Leland Melvin or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Leland Melvin or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.

Leland Melvin is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Leland Melvin for your event is $30,000 - $50,000. Leland Melvin generally travels from Lynchburg, VA, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Story Musgrave, M.D., Hill Harper, J.R. Martinez, Yvonne Cagle and Jose M. Hernandez. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Leland Melvin for an upcoming event.

Leland Melvin Speaker Videos

  • One on One with Keynote Speaker, Leland Melvin
    We had the opportunity to get one-on-one with keynote speaker Leland Melvin following his great keynote presentation in our general session.
    How I overcame disability to become a NASA astronaut | Leland Melvin
    Leland Melvin was told he'd never be an astronaut after he lost all his hearing. He got a chance to fly to space and honor the legacy of his friends after the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.
  • What humanity will gain by going to Mars | Leland Melvin
    It might take going to another planet for different nations to finally, once and for all , learn how to get along with each other.
    SDCC 2018: National Geographic MARS
    We talk to the cast and creators of NatGeo's MARS, which is set to roll out with season 2 on Nov 12, 2018.

Leland Melvin News

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Speakers Similar to Leland Melvin

This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent, and wish to request removal from this catalog or report an issue with your profile, please click here.

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