NASA creates new technology and policy office in leadership reshuffle

WASHINGTON — NASA Headquarters has created a new workplace devoted to know-how and policy problems, portion of a restructuring that features creating a new house safety position at the civil house agency.

NASA introduced Nov. 1 numerous adjustments to its leadership, largely involving assigning existing personnel to new positions. The most important alter is the creation of the Business of Know-how, Policy and Method (OTPS) by merging the Business office of Strategic Engagements and Assessments with the Place of work of the Chief Technologist.

The business will be dependable for supplying what the agency explained in a statement as “data- and proof-driven engineering, coverage, and technique advice” for NASA management. Bhavya Lal, who served on the Biden administration’s transition workforce for NASA and then stayed on as performing chief of team and, most recently, senior adviser for finances and finance, will lead the business office as affiliate administrator.

“As we keep on to drive the boundaries of exploration, OTPS and these management positions will ensure our cutting-edge technologies, technique, and policy condition our agency’s good results,” NASA Administrator Invoice Nelson reported in a statement. “We also are expanding our evaluation and steerage on geopolitical concerns and risks that NASA, or the room business, may well be struggling with.”

That increased evaluation and guidance incorporates generating a new position of associate administrator of place safety interests. Tom Cremins, beforehand associate administrator for strategic engagement and assessments, will consider that placement, overseeing what NASA referred to as “a wide security focus on NASA’s civil room endeavours in just the larger nationwide and world-wide environment” as properly as enterprise security and assessment initiatives.

“Tom’s new role will help assure NASA’s equities are considered in strategic troubles and plan conversations. He’ll also present input on the agency’s rising room protection areas of chance and focus, this kind of as in cislunar space and broader Moon-to-Mars exploration tactic and architecture,” Nelson said in the assertion.

Other alterations incorporate producing the placement of main resilience officer, overseeing NASA’s reaction to the pandemic and implementation of specifications relevant to it, as properly as the agency’s “Future of Work” exertion for a hybrid workplace. Melanie Saunders, previously deputy associate administrator, will consider that work.

Casey Swails, formerly senior adviser and main of staff members to the affiliate administrator, will be the deputy associate administrator for business operations. In that posture she will oversee integration of mission assist capabilities across the company as effectively as be the senior adviser to Affiliate Administrator Bob Cabana.

Douglas Terrier, who had been NASA’s main technologist for 5 a long time, will transfer to the Johnson Area Heart, exactly where he will be affiliate director for vision and tactic, a new placement there. Lal will provide as performing chief technologist right up until the agency selects a permanent successor.

The adjustments, which took effect immediately, won the endorsement of a former NASA official. “My exhilaration for the development of the new Office of Know-how, Plan and Method is only exceeded by my exhilaration for its chief,” explained Mike Gold, previous associate administrator for area policy and partnerships at NASA and presently govt vice president for civil area and exterior affairs at Redwire.

Lal, he observed, has in depth experience in space concerns from her time at the Science and Technology Coverage Institute, inspecting subjects ranging from space nuclear energy to very low Earth orbit commercialization. “Dr. Lal is an unparalleled decision for this situation,” Gold stated. “If Dr. Lal did not virtually generate the e-book on a matter, she at minimum wrote a report on it.”

Marcy Willis

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