Message from the NASA Associate Administrator -- Aligning Our Agency for the Future

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Friday, November 1, 2013


Sent: Friday, November 01, 2013 1:00 PM

To: Agency-DL-NOMAD-All-Users

Subject: Message from the Associate Administrator -- Aligning Our Agency for the Future


Point of Contact: David Weaver, Office of Communications, NASA Headquarters, 202-358-1600

Message from Associate Administrator Robert M. Lightfoot, Jr.

Aligning Our Agency for the Future

In the 55 years that NASA has been expanding the boundaries of aeronautics, scientific knowledge and human space exploration, the agency has created and maintained significant technical capabilities. We have built a strong and capable workforce and developed the facilities and equipment to maintain and grow our nation's space program. However, as we prepare for the next 50 years of exploration - in a constrained budget environment -- we need to ensure we have the right skills, facilities and equipment to execute our missions and keep America the world leader in space.  That's why I commissioned a Technical Capabilities Assessment Team (TCAT) in July 2012.

The TCAT's purpose is to take a NASA-wide look at our technical capabilities as part of a larger discussion to determine how we can successfully address our current and future mission needs. These discussions include every center director, every mission directorate and several key support offices.  But most importantly, it needs to include each one of you. 

Since TCAT was established, the budget environment has remained challenging, and the team's work has gained increased priority. As a result, you may see elements of the assessment or implementation underway at your center. The goal of this effort is to strengthen our centers in their primary areas of expertise. Each center will see increased investment in some areas and decreased investment in others.

In addition to TCAT, other efforts are underway to help in areas such as budget and workforce planning, workforce flexibility options, and our competition model. All of these efforts underway will lead to a more efficient operating model that addresses the health of our capabilities while executing our current and future missions 

Since this work is so important right now, we have brought one of the agency's most seasoned professionals on board to oversee it. Lesa Roe, currently Center Director at the Langley Research Center in Virginia, will be detailed to Headquarters as the Deputy Associate Administrator to oversee TCAT. Lesa will manage the TCAT process, help us evaluate its results, and plan for deeper implementation of the team's recommendations and the ongoing work to strengthen our management in other areas. She brings a wealth of NASA and managerial experience to this task, including a strong understanding of the strengths and needs of centers. As Lesa takes on this new responsibility, her deputy, Stephen G. Jurczyk, will become Langley's acting center director. I thank Lesa and Stephen for their service to NASA and their willingness to take on these challenges. 

These efforts will strengthen our agency by providing a framework for key decisions around the inspiring missions and technical capabilities you are all involved with every day.  I look forward to your support of Lesa and Steve in their new roles!


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