Jefferson Davis Howell, Jr. Named as Johnson Space Center Director

Press Release From: Johnson Space Center
Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2002

Jefferson Davis Howell, Jr., has been named Director of the Johnson Space Center effective April 1. Howell, a retired U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant General, is only the eighth person to serve as Director in the center's 40-year history.

"General Howell is a true patriot and leader with more than three decades of executive management and financial management experience," said NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe. "Throughout his military and civilian careers, Jeff has been a leader, an innovator and a team builder. He's the right person to lead the NASA center that's the cornerstone of our human spaceflight operations."

Howell currently serves as Senior Vice President and Program Manager for the Safety, Reliability, and Quality Assurance contract at JSC. The contract focuses on safety and mission assurance for the Space Shuttle and International Space Station programs. He is employed by Science Application International Corporation (SAIC). He earned a bachelor's degree in Political Science and a master's degree in Economics at the University of Texas.

Howell has been with SAIC since February 1999, when he first served as Deputy Program Manager of the safety contract. He was named Program Manager in August 1999. Howell manages more than 525 people in support of a contract focused on safety and mission assurance in support of the Space Shuttle and International Space Station programs.

"This is a tremendous honor," said Howell. "The people who work at the Johnson Space Center are among the best and brightest in our industry with a history of incredible accomplishment. As we face the challenges of the upcoming year, we will work together, maintaining our commitment to safety and bringing the benefits of space home to the people of Earth."

"I also want to congratulate Roy Estess on the excellent job he has done here over the past year and thank him for his dedication to NASA."

Howell replaces Roy S. Estess who has been the center’s acting director since February 23, 2001. Estess will return to his position as Center Director at the John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.

The Johnson Space Center is the home of human spaceflight, a leader in the field of astromaterials and is actively involved in developing new engineering and robotics capabilities and finding innovative ways to share these technologies with the public.

For additional information on Howell and the Johnson Space Center, visit the JSC homepage at

// end //

More news releases and status reports or top stories.

Please follow SpaceRef on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.