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NASA Senior Leadership Changes


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Administrator Charles Bolden has announced several changes in NASA’s senior leadership. Lesa Roe has been named as the agency’s Deputy Associate Administrator. Steve Jurczyk will replace Roe as Director of NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. Sumara Thompson-King has been named the agency's General Counsel, replacing Michael Wholley, who is retiring.

Roe has served as Center Director at Langley since October 2005. She has been detailed to Headquarters as the Deputy Associate Administrator to oversee NASA’s Technical Capabilities Assessment Team (TCAT) since November 2013. Jurczyk, Langley’s Deputy Director, has served as Acting Center Director in her absence.

As Deputy Associate Administrator, Roe will assist the Associate Administrator in performing the Chief Operating Officer duties and leading several key agency activities.  These activities will include continuing to lead the effort to accelerate TCAT, which convened last year to examine the entire NASA organizational structure and determine how the agency can maintain and advance its critical capabilities while performing current and future missions. Roe also will serve as the Integration Team Lead, creating and leading the execution of a plan to address how the agency will ensure an integrated approach to assess workforce strategies, TCAT, the Business Capabilities Assessment Team (BCAT) and Program/Project Planning, Reporting and Execution Team. In addition, she will manage the Executive Resources Board and NASA’s Women in STEM initiative.

Roe began her NASA career at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., in 1987 as a radio frequency communications engineer in the Space Shuttle Engineering Directorate. Over her career she has worked on 38 shuttle missions in various capacities.  Previously, she served as the Langley Deputy Director and Langley Associate Director. She served as the International Space Station Research Program Manager at Johnson Space Center, in Houston and has had experience in technical and program management across three NASA centers and in industry.

Roe received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Florida at Gainesville and a master's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Fla.

Jurczyk began his NASA career at Langley in 1988 as an electronics engineer in the Electronic Systems Branch. On detail to NASA Headquarters, he managed the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission and formulated the technology development strategy for the Earth Science Enterprise. From 1994 to 1997, he was the Instrument Systems Engineer and, later, the Spacecraft Systems Manager for the Landsat 7 Project at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. He returned to Langley as head of the Electronic Systems Branch in the Aerospace Electronics Systems Division. In 2002, Jurczyk was selected as Deputy Director for Flight Systems in Langley's Systems Engineering organization. In May 2003, he was named Director of Systems Engineering. Before becoming Langley's Deputy Director, Jurczyk, previously served as Director of Langley's Research and Technology Directorate.

Jurczyk earned bachelor and master of science degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Virginia in 1984 and 1986, respectively.

Thompson-King succeeds Wholley, who has been NASA's General Counsel since June 2004. She currently is serving as the Deputy General Counsel in the Office of the General Counsel at NASA Headquarters. She previously served as the Associate General Counsel for Contracts, Procurement and Acquisition Integrity Practice Group in the Office of the General Counsel. 

Thompson-King began her NASA career in 1986 when she joined the Office of Chief Counsel at Goddard. In 1991, she moved to NASA Headquarters to become a senior attorney responsible for litigating protests before the General Services Administration Board of Contract Appeals, and in 1995 she became the Deputy Associate General Counsel (Contracts). 

Thompson-King received an A.B. in government from Smith College in Northampton, Mass., and earned a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington.

Roe and Jurczyk's changes are effective immediately. Thompson-King becomes General Counsel effective June 1, following Wholley's retirement May 31.

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