Leroy Chiao, a former astronaut, will join the Space Foundation as a special adviser in human space flight.

Chiao’s new job is also new to the Space Foundation, and he is expected to play a big role in the 2012 National Space Symposium, held in April at the Broadmoor.

Chiao flew on three space shuttle flights, a Russian Soyuz flight and was the commander of one of the expeditions on the International Space Station, where he lived for fix months in 2004-2005.

“Whether he’s addressing rocket scientists, reporters or school children, Chiao is an extraordinary spokesperson on space science and human spaceflight,” said Space Foundation CEO Elliot Pulham.

Chiao has a doctorate in chemical engineering form the University of California at Santa Barbara. He speaks Mandarin Chinese and Russian, in addition to English. He lives in Houston.