NASA Administrator Selects New Biological and Physical Research Associate Administrator

Press Release From: NASA HQ
Posted: Monday, March 4, 2002

Mary E. Kicza today was named Associate Administrator for Biological and Physical Research at NASA Headquarters in Washington, effective March 11. Kicza is currently Associate Center Director at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

At Goddard, she is the senior manager responsible for coordinating and integrating all Goddard space science, Earth science, and enabling technology programs and activities.

In making the selection, NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe praised Kicza's extensive management experience. "For two decades, Mary has managed an extremely diverse scientific community. She has the leadership skills and the management expertise to bring NASA's fields of physics, chemistry and biology together into a truly dynamic and successful program."

As Associate Administrator, Kicza will manage an office dedicated to conducting basic and applied research to support human exploration of space, and to taking advantage of the space environment as a laboratory for scientific, technological and commercial research.

She began her NASA career in 1982 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where she was lead systems engineer for the Centaur Engineering Support Group and test coordinator for computer systems supporting the program's tests and launches.

>From 1994 to 1996, she was the Assistant Associate Administrator for Technology for the Office of Space Science at NASA Headquarters in Washington. From 1992 to 1994, she held two positions at the same time, serving as Deputy Division Director for the Office of Space Science's Solar System Exploration Division and working as Program Manager for the newly formed Discovery Program, which included the highly successful Mars Pathfinder mission.

Prior to her current assignment at Goddard, Kicza was Associate Center Director for Space Science Programs, where she was the senior person responsible for management of all of the center's space science programs. While in the position, she also served as co-chair of the team performing independent annual reviews of the International Space Station and its research programs.

"In leading this office, you have to be able to juggle a lot of disciplines at the same time," added Administrator O'Keefe. "Mary will work closely with our new Chief Scientist, Dr. Shannon Lucid, in identifying and implementing this agency's scientific research goals and objectives in space.

Kicza is the recipient of NASA's Exceptional Performance Award and in 1998 was conferred the rank of Meritorious Executive in the Senior Executive Service for sustained superior accomplishment in the management of programs of the United States government. She has a bachelor's degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from California State University, Sacramento, and a master's degree in Business Administration from the Florida Institute of Technology.

She replaces Dr. Kathie Olsen, who has been serving as both Acting Associate Administrator and Chief Scientist for the agency. The President has announced his intention to nominate Olsen as the Associate Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in the Executive Office of the President.

Additional information about the NASA Office of Biological and Physical Research is available on the Internet at:

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