Sarah B. Hiza, Ph.D.

Spark Award

Sarah B. Hiza, Ph.D., Spark Award, Headshot

Sarah B. Hiza, Ph.D.

Lockheed Martin

For inspiring women to make personal growth and development a priority; for promoting diversity and inclusion within the aerospace industry; and for helping mentees overcome challenges with dignity and confidence.

Sarah B. Hiza, Ph.D., is vice president and general manager of the Strategic and Missile Defense Systems Line of Business at Lockheed Martin Space. In this role, she manages a broad portfolio of programs in strategic deterrence, missile defense, directed energy, and hypersonic strike. She oversees some 5,300 employees across 10 states and the United Kingdom in work that supports customers in the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.K. Ministry of Defence.

Her academic and professional expertise encompasses rocket propellants, explosives, and ordnance. Dr. Hiza recognizes how mentoring impacted her own career since teacher-mentors from high school through graduate school guided her decision-making about what to study and what career opportunities to pursue. She has continued a similar process with more than 50 STEM students and aerospace and defense professionals whom she has mentored at various stages in their careers. Dr. Hiza embraces the power of mentorship and believes a bit of encouragement can inspire others on to success. She also strives to offer long-term support rather than transactional moments.

Although her mentorship does not exclude men, Dr. Hiza is well known for her contributions to the advancement of women through mentoring and her support of diversity and inclusion. As she began her career with Orbital ATK (now Northrop Grumman), she learned about materials, operations, leadership, and mentoring. After joining Lockheed Martin in 2015, Dr. Hiza began mentoring women engineers through the Women’s Impact Network (WIN) business resource group, which was organized to help women advance in the workplace. WIN strives to change the workplace culture, invest in women and empower them to develop leadership skills, business practices, personal contacts, and career opportunities.

Dr. Hiza organized a virtual leadership book club with a group of approximately 15 managers and discussed Developing the Leader Within You by John Maxwell. During book club sessions, she shared her perspective, experiences, and advice. A new group of leaders will discuss The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.

A strong advocate for community service, Dr. Hiza has volunteered with Expanding Your Horizons, an organization that excites, educates, and equips girls from low-income communities through high-quality STEM programming to see opportunities for themselves. She also serves on the board of trustees for the National Outdoor Leadership School.

Dr. Hiza holds a B.A. in chemistry from Virginia Tech and a Ph.D. in polymer science from the University of Akron. She has one U.S. patent and eight national publications. She was recently featured in the 2020 Authority Magazine article “Women Leading the Space Industry” and in Space Coast Business’ Women in Business 2020. In her leisure time, she enjoys hiking, backpacking, skiing, photography, amateur astronomy, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.