The Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership will present the 2023 Quasar Award for economic development excellence to Vanessa Wyche, NASA Johnson Space Center director, at its annual award banquet held at 2500 South Shore Blvd., League City, on Jan. 27, according to a release from the BAHEP.

“I’m humbled and honored to be chosen as the recipient of the prestigious Quasar Award," Wyche said in the release. "The future of human space exploration is brighter than ever as we are developing and operating more human-rated spacecraft than ever in our history, enabling us to conduct low-Earth orbit and deep space exploration at the same time. I’m very proud to be leading NASA’s Johnson Space Center at this exciting time as we partner with industry, academia and the international space community to meet NASA’s objectives of propelling the space economy and simultaneously exploring low-Earth orbit and deep space under Artemis.”

The NASA JSC has a civil workforce of 3,000 employees and more than 12,000 contractors from about 50 companies that work on-site or nearby, according to NASA's jobs webpage.

Brian Freedman, who will become the BAHEP’s next president on Jan. 1, said in the release that Wyche is an "outstanding regional leader for economic development."

"The Johnson Space Center is an economic engine for the region, and she has been aggressive in her efforts to expand JSC's role in human spaceflight, in working collaboratively with the community and in creating opportunities where industry can participate," he said. "The recent successful launch of the Artemis I Mission showcases that leadership with her team managing the entire mission and ensuring that the next ‘first words’ from the moon start with ‘Houston.’”