Press Release

Columbia Accident Investigation Board Holds Seventh Public Hearing and Press Briefing

By SpaceRef Editor
June 9, 2003
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WASHINGTON – The Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) will hold their seventh public hearing followed by a press briefing on Thursday, June 12. The public hearing will be from 9 a.m. to noon, EDT followed by a press briefing at 1 p.m. EDT. Both events will be held at the National Transportation Safety Board Conference Center, 429 L’ Enfant Plaza, SW, Washington, D.C.

The Board’s chairman, retired Navy Admiral Harold W. "Hal" Gehman Jr., and other board members will hear from individuals who have been asked to appear before the Board to discuss the history and management of the Shuttle Program. The public is welcome to attend.

Speakers include: Allen Li, Director of Acquisition Sourcing Management, US. General Accounting Office; Marcia Smith, Senior Level Specialist in Aerospace and Telecommunications Policy for the Resources, Science and Industry Division, Congressional Research Service Library of Congress; Russell D. Turner, President, Honeywell Engines Systems and Services.

Following the public hearing a press briefing will be held with Chairman, Admiral Hal Gehman and board members from the CAIB’s four working groups. The members will provide an update about the ongoing investigation. Both events can be viewed by webcast at

Credentialed members of the working press are welcome to attend the press briefing.

Following are brief biographies of the public hearing speakers:

Thursday, June 12, 2003
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Allen Li is Director of Acquisition Sourcing Management, at the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO). Mr. Li is responsible for leading GAO’s work at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and in reviewing other defense areas such as tactical aircraft.

Prior to assuming his current duties, Mr. Li was an Associate Director in GAO’s Energy, Resources and Science Issue area where he directed work on research and development, nuclear safety, and Department of Energy management issues. Over the past 23 years at GAO, he has worked in several units, including GAO’s Transportation Issue Area where he specialized in aviation safety and air traffic control modernization.

Mr. Li has frequently testified before Senate and House committees and subcommittees on civil and military issues. He was selected into GAO’s Senior Executive Service and designated Associate Director of Transportation Issues. Mr. Li has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland. He is a senior member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Marcia Smith is a Senior Level Specialist in Aerospace and Telecommunications Policy for the Resources, Science, and Industry Division of the Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. She serves as a policy analyst for the Members and committees of the U.S. Congress on matters concerning U.S. and foreign military and civilian space activities, and on Telecommunications issues including the Internet (and formerly on nuclear energy).

Previously, she held the position of Section Head for Space and Defense Technologies and for Energy, Aerospace and Transportation Technologies in the Science Policy Research Division.
Ms. Smith served as Executive Director of the U.S. National Commission on Space. The Commission created by Congress and its members appointed by the President, developed long- term (50 year) goals for the civilian space program under the chairmanship of (the late) former NASA Administrator, Thomas Paine.

She is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the British Interplanetary Society and the American Astronautical Society. Ms. Smith is an Emeritus Member, founder and past president of Women in Aerospace and a Life Member of the New York Academy of Sciences and of the Washington Academy of Sciences.

Ms. Smith is the North American Editor for the quarterly journal, Space Policy and the author or co-author of more than 220 reports and articles on space, nuclear energy, and telecommunications and Internet issues. She is a graduate of Syracuse University.

Russell D. (Russ) Turner is President of Honeywell Engines, Systems and Services. He was formerly President and Chief Executive Officer for United Space Alliance (USA). At USA he was responsible for overseeing the operations of the Space Shuttle and elements of the International Space Station, under the Space Flight Operations Contract (SFOC). He participated in the formation of United Space Alliance and served as USA’s chief information officer.

Prior to his position at USA, he served as Vice President and General Manager of Rocketdyne Propulsion and Power, a division of The Boeing Company and as Vice President and General Manager of Reusable Space Systems for Boeing. His responsibilities included directing space-related activities for the Space Shuttle Main Engine program, International Space Station Electric Power System, liquid rocket booster engines for Expendable Launch Vehicles, linear aero spike engines for X-33 and RLV and for the overall management of such programs as Space Shuttle and the ISS Crew Return Vehicle,

Turner also held positions with Rockwell, in information technology, business management, business development and program management. He was manager of Technical Systems and Computing Services, director of Engineering Systems, division director of Information Management, Program Director for Space Shuttle Upgrades.

Tom Young held many positions in the space community; he retired as President and CEO of Martin Marietta Corporation. He was formerly Martin Marietta’s Vice President of Aerospace Research and Engineering. Prior to his positions at Martin Marietta, he was Director of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and held other responsible positions with NASA. Since his retirement, Mr. Young has chaired a number of advisory efforts for NASA and the Department of Defense, including NASA’s Space Flight Advisory Committee and the Task Force on International Space Station Cost and Management Evaluation.

Mr. Young received a Master of Management Degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Bachelor of Aeronautical Engineering Degree and a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering Degree from the University of Virginia. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. Mr. Young has received numerous honors and awards including NASA’s highest award, the Distinguished Service Medal, for his role in the Viking Program.

SpaceRef staff editor.