Press Release

Ann McNair named director of center operations at NASA’s Marshall Center

By SpaceRef Editor
September 13, 2007
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Ann McNair has been named director of the Office of Center Operations at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

McNair, who started her NASA career when the agency was founded at the Marshall Center in 1960, manages approximately 1,000 civil servant and contract employees handling all institutional services at the Marshall Center, including environmental management and occupational health; logistics, facility maintenance and operations; industrial labor relations; and protective services. She has served as acting director of the office since September 2006.

From 2004 to 2006, McNair managed the Mission Operations Laboratory in Marshall’s Engineering Directorate, where she directed the Payload Operations Integration Center for the International Space Station and managed operations and ground support facilities at the Huntsville Operations Support Center – a NASA technology hub for monitoring scientific research and enabling communications during space operations.

McNair was manager from 2000 to 2004 of the Ground Systems Department in Marshall’s Flight Projects Directorate. She spearheaded creation of the Chandra Operations Control Center, which monitors the work of the Chandra X-ray Observatory, the space telescope NASA launched in 1999 to take X-ray images of the universe. She also led deployment of the control center – the first to a remote, non-NASA location – at the Smithsonian Astronomical Observatory in Cambridge, Mass.

From 1988 to 1990, McNair was deputy chief of the Operations Development Division in Marshall’s Systems Analysis & Integration Laboratory. During that period, she helped supervise the creation and operation of the U.S. Payload Control Center and Payload Training Complex.

She was chief of the Data Systems Laboratory’s Integration Branch from 1975 to 1982, supporting space shuttle and Spacelab missions and the Hubble Space Telescope, the deep-space imaging satellite launched to space in 1990. From 1965 to 1967, she was chief of the requirements analysis group within the Information Systems Office, supporting the planning and execution of all Apollo flights.

From 1958 to 1963, McNair was a mathematician for the Army Ballistic Missile Agency at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville. She transferred from the Army with the rocket team of Wernher von Braun to NASA in July 1960, when that group became the nucleus for the Marshall Center and spearheaded the nation’s emerging space program.

A native of Moundville, Ala., McNair graduated in 1958 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. She holds the distinction of being the first female supervisor in engineering at the Marshall Center. In 2000, she was selected for the Senior Executive Service, the personnel system covering top managerial positions in some 75 federal agencies.

McNair was awarded a NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal in 2007 for strategic and technical leadership of the Mission Operations Laboratory. She also received a NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal in 1998, for managing the development, implementation and deployment of the Chandra Operations Control Center. In 1973 and 1989, she was awarded the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, which recognizes significant sustained performance that substantially enhances NASA’s mission.

McNair resides in Huntsville, Ala.

For more information about the Marshall Center’s Office of Center Operations, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.