Press Release

Jefferson Davis Howell, Jr. Named as Johnson Space Center Director

By SpaceRef Editor
February 12, 2002
Filed under ,

Jefferson Davis Howell, Jr., has been named Director of the Johnson
Space Center effective April 1. Howell, a retired U.S. Marine Corps
Lieutenant General, is only the eighth person to serve as Director in
the center’s 40-year history.

“General Howell is a true patriot and leader with more than three
decades of executive management and financial management experience,”
said NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe. “Throughout his military and
civilian careers, Jeff has been a leader, an innovator and a team
builder. He’s the right person to lead the NASA center that’s the
cornerstone of our human spaceflight operations.”

Howell currently serves as Senior Vice President and Program Manager for
the Safety, Reliability, and Quality Assurance contract at JSC. The
contract focuses on safety and mission assurance for the Space Shuttle
and International Space Station programs. He is employed by Science
Application International Corporation (SAIC). He earned a bachelor’s
degree in Political Science and a master’s degree in Economics at the
University of Texas.

Howell has been with SAIC since February 1999, when he first served as
Deputy Program Manager of the safety contract. He was named Program
Manager in August 1999. Howell manages more than 525 people in support
of a contract focused on safety and mission assurance in support of the
Space Shuttle and International Space Station programs.

“This is a tremendous honor,” said Howell. “The people who work at the
Johnson Space Center are among the best and brightest in our industry
with a history of incredible accomplishment. As we face the challenges
of the upcoming year, we will work together, maintaining our commitment
to safety and bringing the benefits of space home to the people of

“I also want to congratulate Roy Estess on the excellent job he has done
here over the past year and thank him for his dedication to NASA.”

Howell replaces Roy S. Estess who has been the center’s acting director
since February 23, 2001. Estess will return to his position as Center
Director at the John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.

The Johnson Space Center is the home of human spaceflight, a leader in
the field of astromaterials and is actively involved in developing new
engineering and robotics capabilities and finding innovative ways to
share these technologies with the public.

For additional information on Howell and the Johnson Space Center, visit
the JSC homepage at

SpaceRef staff editor.