Margaret Chester

Margaret McMath Chester is a full-time Export Compliance Specialist in the University Export Compliance Unit of the Office of Ethics and Compliance.  Margaret shares responsibility for reviewing foreign transactions with other unit staff and specializes in assisting Penn State researchers with technology controls and licensing under the State Department’s International Traffic in Arms (ITAR) and Commerce Department’s Export Administration (EAR) regulations.

Margaret joined the University Export Compliance Unit in 2015 after sixteen years on Penn State’s Swift Gamma Ray Burst Explorer Program, a NASA-sponsored astrophysics mission.  Margaret’s role in setting up Penn State’s Mission Operations Center led to her interest in export compliance, as the operations concept for Swift requires close cooperation with the Italian Space Agency and academic institutions in the United Kingdom, Italy, and Denmark.  Swift’s development began in 1999 just as changes in Federal export regulations placed Swift’s spacecraft and scientific instruments under the jurisdiction of the ITAR.  Margaret prepared all of the export licenses, Technical Assistance Agreements, Technology Control Plans, and briefings for Swift and, as a member of the mission operations team, acted as the “embedded” export compliance officer.

Prior to Margaret’s participation in the Swift Program, she taught introductory astronomy and physics at Bucknell University and Penn State, was Principal Investigator for the NSF-sponsored Research Experiences for Undergraduates in Astronomy & Astrophysics at Penn State, and worked as a Research Associate in the department.  Margaret obtained a PhD in Astronomy from Penn State and an AB in Physics and Astronomy from Mount Holyoke College.

Margaret M. Chester, Ph.D.
Export Compliance Specialist
Focus: Export Compliance
173 The 230 Building
814-863-3254