Mary (Missy) Cummings earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the U.S. Naval Academy, her master's degree in space systems engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School, and her doctorate in systems engineering from the University of Virginia. A naval officer and military pilot from 1988-1999, Cummings was one of the U.S. Navy's first female fighter pilots. She is a professor in the George Mason University College of Engineering and Computing and is the director of the Mason Autonomy and Robotics Center (MARC). Cummings is an American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) fellow, and recently served as the senior safety advisor to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Her research interests include the application of artificial intelligence in safety-critical systems, assured autonomy, human-systems engineering, and the ethical and social impact of technology.