Nicholas Skytland

Chief Technologist in Houston, TX

NICHOLAS SKYTLAND is the Chief Technologist and Director of the Business Development and Technology Integration Office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, home to America’s astronaut corps, Mission Control Center, International Space Station, and the Orion and Gateway programs. He is focused on helping NASA return to the Moon through technology development, technology transfer, strategic partnerships and open innovation.

Skytland has trained astronauts, designed next-generation spacesuits, developed open source technology, led global movements, and created some of the largest purpose-driven collaborations in history. He is a passionate leader who has pioneered new ways of doing business in both government and industry for two decades. His best work is done at the intersection of technologists, change makers and explorers.

He is well known for launching and leading successful cutting-edge initiatives such as the AI & the Church Hackathon, Urbana's Hack4Missions, Indigitous Hack, Random Hacks of Kindness, the National Day of Civic Hacking and the International Space Apps Challenge. He created and led NASA’s Data Science, Open Innovation and Open Government programs, the 1958 Coworking Space, and NASAs twitter account (@nasa). He is the author of NASA’s Future of Work study and established the Agency’s Talent Marketplace. He is a gifted communicator and strategic leader who regularly speaks in technical and public spheres.

Skytland is also the cofounder of Quite Uncommon, a strategy and consulting firm that helps ministry leaders navigate an ever-changing world. In this role, he advises organizations and crafts forward leaning strategies, convenes passionate communities and develops missional technology.

A native of North Dakota, Skytland earned his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Valparaiso University, a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Texas, and a Masters of Space Studies from the International Space University. He serves as an Elder at Clear Creek Community Church and Board Member at Wellby Financial and Kurio. He is a recipient of the Young Alumnus Award from Valparaiso University and the Outstanding Leadership Medal from NASA.

Skytland is an avid adventurer, experienced diver, and a dedicated triathlete who has completed 23 Ironman races. He lives in Houston with his wife and three kids.

  • Work
    • NASA Johnson Space Center