Managing Executive, Space Exploration
Kristin A. Fretz has served as the managing executive for the Space Exploration Sector at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) since October 2023. The sector provides innovative solutions to critical civil and national security space problems. Fretz leads approximately 1,300 technical and scientific staff within the sector and is responsible for ensuring the performance and quality of the sector’s technical products, research, and services, while creating a work environment that promotes innovation and diversity of thought. Fretz has bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and health and exercise science from Wake Forest University. She has a master’s degree and Ph.D. in reliability engineering from the University of Maryland. Prior to her current assignment, Fretz held a variety of leadership roles at APL, including group supervisor of Space Systems Engineering and branch supervisor of Space Systems and Analysis. Fretz has over 20 years of experience at APL providing reliability, fault management, and systems engineering solutions for the civil and national security space communities.