Chancellor Lesa Roe

In October 2017, Lesa B. Roe was named Chancellor of the University of North Texas System following a national search.  Chancellor Roe is the chief executive officer and the first woman to lead the UNT System.  She is responsible for all aspects of the System’s operations including general oversight of 10,000+ employees and the three UNT System campuses – UNT in Denton, UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth and UNT Dallas. 

Chancellor Roe is committed to the continuous enhancement of academic programming by UNT System universities to best serve the DFW region and the State of Texas.  Strategic growth, research, inclusiveness, operational efficiency, and employee engagement are her key priorities.

Prior to her arrival in North Texas, Chancellor Roe spent 33 years with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) – a federal agency that received $19.6 billion in government funding in 2017 and oversees $31 billion in assets.  As acting Deputy Administrator, she was responsible for general oversight of 17,000 NASA employees and 10 field centers across the nation.  She also directed program and project teams on product/mission delivery, acquisition strategy, partnership and international strategy, and risk management. 

During her tenure at NASA, Chancellor Roe served as the first woman Director of NASA Langley Research Center, Manager of the International Space Station (ISS) Research Program at the Johnson Space Center, and worked on 36 Space Shuttle and ISS missions in various leadership roles.  Her leadership at NASA led to numerous science, space, and aeronautics breakthrough innovations and missions which advanced our nation’s leadership and international knowledge of aeronautics and space. 

Chancellor Roe has served on numerous boards and advisory committees including the Virginia Governor’s Aerospace Advisory Council, American Astronautical Society, Virginia FIRST Robotics, and the Virginia Research and Technology Advisory Commission.  Currently, she serves on the Board of Directors for the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Dallas, Inc.

Her many honors include: 

  • American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics AIAA Fellow (2017)
  • Senior Executive Service Presidential Distinguished Rank Award (2015)
  • Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Bridge Builder Award (2012)
  • YWCA Women of Distinction in Science and Technology (2010)
  • Women in Aerospace Leadership Award (2010)
  • Presidential Meritorious Executive Rank Award (2006)
  • NASA Exceptional Service Medal
  • University of Florida’s Distinguished Career Achievement Award
  • University of Florida’s Outstanding Leadership in Engineering Award

Chancellor Roe holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Florida and a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Central Florida.  She is married to Ralph Roe, NASA's chief engineer, and has two sons and a daughter.