NASA Ames Appoints Marvin "Chris" Christensen As New Deputy Director

Status Report From: Ames Research Center
Posted: Friday, May 12, 2006


NASA Ames Research Center Director Simon "Pete" Worden announced today that he has named Marvin "Chris" Christensen to serve as his deputy director.

Worden was appointed NASA Ames Research Center director by NASA Administrator Michael Griffin on April 21, 2006. Christensen will assume his new duties May 14, 2006. He has served as the acting center director for the past two and a half months pending Worden's arrival from the University of Arizona, Tucson, where he was a research professor of astronomy.

"Chris has provided experienced leadership as acting program manager of the Robotic Lunar Exploration Program (RLEP) since coming to Ames in September 2005," said Worden. "In that role, he has been instrumental in regaining a true mission management role for the center and in kicking off our efforts in the area of small satellites, which I think will be key to our future."

Prior to coming to Ames, Christensen served as a senior manager at Lockheed Martin, and also brings 40 years of experience at NASA Headquarters, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA field centers and the aerospace industry.

"I am delighted that Pete Worden has demonstrated his confidence in me by naming me as his deputy director," Christensen said. "I look forward to working with him to strengthen Ames by building on our traditional areas of excellence, expanding our business base and pursuing creative use of our facilities."

Christensen will succeed Steven Zornetzer, who has served as acting deputy center director in addition to his duties as deputy director for research since August 2005.

"With Chris and Steve at the helm, the center was able to navigate its way through turbulent times and we find ourselves closer to our goals as a result of their skill and dedication," Worden said.

Founded in 1939, NASA Ames Research Center is one of the nation's premiere research laboratories. Located in California's Silicon Valley, NASA Ames is home to a dynamic cadre of world-class scientists and engineers conducting mission-enabling, cutting-edge research and technology development in support of NASA's missions and the Vision for Space Exploration.

NASA Ames' applied research and development in support of the human space program includes work on the crew exploration vehicle's thermal protection system, aerosciences analysis, crew cabin and cockpit display development, guidance, navigation and control software verification and validation, and the crew launch vehicle's simulation-assisted risk analysis and integrated system health management.

In NASA Research Park, Ames has partnered with leading universities and high-technology industry leaders to bring the scientific and corporate communities together in an effort to advance human knowledge and explore the universe.

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