Molly K. Macauley (1957 – 2016) was an economist specializing in satellites and the United States’ space program, and vice president for research at Resources for the Future, a Washington-based think tank.
The daughter of Sidney William Macauley, an IRS special agent, and Gloria Anita Macauley, a homemaker, Molly Kenna Macauley was born in Richmond, Va., and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, and Falls Church, Va., where she graduated from high school.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in 1979 in economics from the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va., and earned a master’s degree in 1981 in economics from the Johns Hopkins University and a doctorate, also in economics, in 1983.
From 1979 to 1983, when she joined Resources for the Future, Dr. Macauley had worked as a policy analyst for Communications Satellite Corp.
MaCauley began her career in Space Policy and Space Economics at Resources for the Future, an economic and environmental policy think tank in Washington, DC. She dedicated 35 years of her life building a novel field of analysis with interesting perspectives on the dynamics of space, its regulation, its protection, and its service to humanity.
Dr. Macauley, who served on numerous special committees of the National Academy of Science and federal agencies, also served on the board of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy at the College of William & Mary, and Women in Aerospace Scholarship Committee.
She was the author of more than 80 articles, reports and books and often testified before Congress.
For more than 20 years, Dr. Macauley had a second job as an adjunct economics professor at Johns Hopkins.
When she was 12 years old, Dr. Macauley became a Christian Scientist and was a member of the First Church of Christ, Scientist on West University Parkway. She was always studying the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy and had filled many notebooks.
Dr. Macauley was a dog lover and liked taking in and caring for rescue dogs.
Her husband of four years, William Jeffrey Sheppard, a software entrepreneur, died in 2003.
She was murdered by stabbing.
At the time of her death, MaCauley was the vice president for research at Resources for the Future.