G. Scott Hubbard Named NASA Ames Research Center Director

Press Release From: Ames Research Center
Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2002

G. Scott Hubbard, Deputy Director for Research at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., has been selected as Center Director, effective immediately.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for Scott, who is well respected in both the science and program management communities," said Administrator Sean O'Keefe. "Throughout his career at Ames, Scott has made significant contributions to the center's research and program mission goals. I'm excited about Ames' future and I know everyone there is ready to give Scott their full support."

Hubbard replaces Dr. Henry "Harry" McDonald, who will join the faculty at the University of Tennessee (UT) at Chattanooga after assisting with the transition as Hubbard's special assistant. McDonald has been named Distinguished Professor of Computational Engineering at UT.

"I want to express my personal gratitude to Harry for his valuable service and contributions to Ames. He's guided Ames through a critical transition over the last several years, and the center has emerged with wide-ranging expertise in science and technology applications," added Administrator O'Keefe. "The NASA community is stronger for Harry's contributions. I know he is looking forward to new challenges at Tennessee, where I am sure he will continue to serve with distinction."

As Center Director, Hubbard will be responsible for Ames, which is located in the heart of "Silicon Valley." Ames was founded in 1939, as an aircraft research laboratory by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), which in 1958 became NASA. Ames specializes in research geared toward creating new knowledge and new technologies that span the spectrum of the agency's missions and interests.

In his previous position, Hubbard was responsible for the organization and oversight of Ames' research efforts. Hubbard helped establish NASA's Astrobiology Institute at Ames, which addresses fundamental questions about the origin and evolution of life in the universe, and served as its initial Director.

He is widely acknowledged as the originator of the highly successful Mars Pathfinder mission concept and was the project manager for Ames' portion of that 1997 mission. He also served as the NASA Manager of the 1998 Lunar Prospector Mission, which returned outstanding science data at very low cost.

In 2000, Hubbard was named to NASA Headquarters in Washington to serve as the first Mars Program Director. "After the failure of the Climate Orbiter and the Polar Lander, Scott was brought to Washington to help get our Mars exploration program back on track. Today, we enjoy unprecedented success in exploring the Red Planet, making discoveries no one would have thought possible a few years ago," added Administrator O'Keefe.

In his 15 years at Ames, Hubbard served in a variety of increasingly responsible management positions, including Deputy Director of Space. He also led his own research as principal investigator for several detector technology projects. Hubbard has been a contributor to, and the developer of, space research missions since 1974.

"He brings a unique perspective and an extensive knowledge of NASA to his work," said Dr. Jeremiah F. Creedon, Associate Administrator for Aerospace Technology at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "Scott's role in NASA's technology strategic planning and his understanding of technologies and their applications make him a natural selection as the Director of Ames Research Center."

Prior to joining NASA in 1987, Hubbard conducted both basic and applied work in radiation detection materials and devices, both in private industry and at Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Calif. His innovative work in technology creation found application in the agency's space science missions.

Hubbard received his bachelor's degree at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn., and graduate education in solid state and semiconductor physics at University of California at Berkeley.

Additional information about Ames is available on the Internet at:

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