Notice to the Press
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 12, 2010


In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the U.S. Department of State’s Hispanic Employees Council of Foreign Affairs Agencies (HECFAA) and the Bureaus of Western Hemisphere Affairs, Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, and Public Affairs will host a conversation with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Astronaut José Hernández at 12:00 noon on Wednesday, October 13, in the Dean Acheson Auditorium of the U.S. Department of State. Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero will deliver introductory remarks and touch on U.S. space cooperation in the Americas.

This event is open to the press.
Pre-set time for cameras is 11:00 a.m. from the 23st Street entrance.
Final access time for writers and stills is 11:45 a.m. from the 23st Street entrance.

José Hernández is a NASA astronaut and an American engineer of Mexican descent. His family is from La Piedad, Michoacán, with indigenous Purépecha roots. One of four children in a migrant farming family from Mexico, Mr. Hernández – who didn't learn English until he was 12 years old – spent much of his childhood traveling with his family from Mexico to southern California each March, then working northward to the Stockton area by November, picking strawberries and cucumbers at farms along the route. After graduating from high school, he earned an electrical engineering degree at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, and earned his Master’s in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California – Santa Barbara. In 2006, Mr. Hernández completed Astronaut Candidate Training and was subsequently assigned to the crew of Space Shuttle mission STS-128.

Media representatives may attend this event upon presentation of one of the following: (1) a U.S. Government-issued identification card (Department of State, White House, Congress, Department of Defense or Foreign Press Center), (2) a media-issued photo identification card, or
(3) a letter from their employer on letterhead verifying their employment as a journalist, accompanied by an official photo identification card (driver's license, passport).

PRESS CONTACT:

Darla Jordan
Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
U.S. Department of State
(202) 531-5678
Wha-Press@State.Gov



PRN: 2010/1453