New Roles, Combined Offices for NASA Administrator Leadership Team

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA Administrator Bill Nelson is announcing new leadership roles, as well as the merging of two offices into the Office of Technology, Policy, and Strategy (OTPS), in support of Biden-Harris Administration priorities and the focus on space strategy.

  • Dr. Bhavya Lal will serve as the associate administrator for OTPS
  • Melanie Saunders will serve as the agency’s new chief resilience officer
  • Casey Swails will serve as the deputy associate administrator for business operations
  • Tom Cremins will serve as the associate administrator for space security interests
  • Douglas Terrier, the agency’s current chief technologist, will serve in a new position as the associate director for vision and strategy at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston. In the interim, Lal will serve as acting chief technologist

All appointments are effective immediately.

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Biden-Harris Administration Shows Strong Support for NASA in First 100 Days

President Joe Biden stands with a model of the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter, which achieved its first flight on the Red Planet April 19. (Credits: White House/Adam Schultz)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — In the first 100 days of the Biden-Harris Administration, NASA has taken bold steps to expand America’s exploration and scientific frontiers, advancing the nation’s commitment to build back better through innovation, combat climate change, re-establish America’s standing abroad, and inspire the next generation.

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NASA Announces New Role of Senior Climate Advisor

Gavin Schmidt, acting senior climate advisor (Credits: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — In an effort to ensure effective fulfillment of the Biden Administration’s climate science objectives for NASA, the agency has established a new position of senior climate advisor and selected Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, to serve in the role in an acting capacity until a permanent appointment is made.

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NASA Names Leaders to Key Agency Roles

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has named appointees for senior agency positions. Bhavya Lal joins the agency as acting chief of staff, Phillip Thompson will serve as White House liaison, Alicia Brown will serve as associate administrator for the Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs, and Marc Etkind will serve as associate administrator for the agency’s Office of Communications. In addition, Jackie McGuinness will join the agency as press secretary and Reagan Hunter will serve as special assistant for the agency’s Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs.

Bhavya Lal, Acting Chief of Staff

Lal brings extensive experience in engineering and space technology, serving as a member of the research staff at the Institute for Defense Analyses Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI) from 2005 to 2020. There, she led analysis of space technology, strategy, and policy for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and National Space Council, as well as federal space-oriented organizations, including NASA, the Department of Defense, and the intelligence community.

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