Press Release

Kirk Shireman Replaces Mike Suffredini as International Space Station Program Manager

By SpaceRef Editor
August 5, 2015
Filed under , , ,

William H. Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, has named Kirk A. Shireman as manager, International Space Station (ISS) Program. Shireman has served as deputy director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston since 2013. 

“Kirk brings considerable space station experience to this new leadership role. He will manage the overall development, integration and operation of the program,” said Gerstenmaier. “As ISS program manager, Kirk will work directly with the program’s international partners to ensure safe and reliable operation of the orbiting laboratory, and foster scientific research that benefits humanity and helps prepare us for our journey to Mars.” 

Prior to his role as deputy center director, Shireman served as deputy ISS program manager from 2006 to 2013. He also served as the chair of the ISS Mission Management Team after managing several subsystem offices, and managed multiple offices for NASA’s Space Shuttle Program.  
He earned a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Texas A&M University. He began his career with NASA in 1985 as principal function manager in the Navigation, Control & Aeronautics Division. 

NASA has recognized Shireman with the agency’s Exceptional Achievement Medal for successful integration of the International Space Station’s Russian elements. He also received the Silver Snoopy award in 1990 and the Presidential Rank Award in 2010. In 2013, Shireman received the Eagle Manned Mission Award for his outstanding leadership of the International Space Station from the National Space Club at its 56th Annual Robert H. Goddard Memorial Dinner in Washington.

Shireman succeeds Michael T. Suffredini, who is leaving the agency to take a position in private industry.  

“During Mike’s tenure as head of the program, the international project successfully completed construction and transitioned into a fully functional microgravity laboratory,” added Gerstenmaier. “Under his leadership, the station opened avenues for a new commercial marketplace in space and established a platform for groundbreaking research.” 

Since Suffredini became program manager in 2005, the space station evolved to become the springboard to NASA’s next great leap in exploration, enabling research and technology developments that will benefit human and robotic exploration of destinations beyond low-Earth orbit, including asteroids and Mars. To date, more than 1,700 research experiments have been conducted aboard the station, bringing together researchers from over 80 countries in an effort to better the lives for all of humanity.  

Suffredini joined NASA in January 1989. He has a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. 

SpaceRef staff editor.