Press Release

Michael Wholley Selected as NASA General Counsel

By SpaceRef Editor
June 25, 2004
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Administrator Sean O’Keefe today selected retired Marine Brigadier General Michael Wholley as the NASA General Counsel, effective immediately. Wholley succeeds Paul G. Pastorek and joins NASA after a distinguished career of public service in the Marine Corps.

Administrator O’Keefe said, “We are most fortunate to have Mike’s services as General Counsel during this time of transformation within NASA. He has consistently demonstrated the kind of innovative thinking and creative leadership that will serve us well as we implement the Vision for Space Exploration. His great skills honed in the United States Marine Corps will be invaluable to us. I want to welcome him into the NASA family.”

Wholley was designated a Naval Aviator in June 1968, and he flew combat missions in Vietnam. After attending law school, he served in several military legal positions. He eventually was assigned as the Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandant of the Marine Corps/Director, Judge Advocate Division. He managed the active and reserve Marine legal community of more than 1,500 attorneys, paralegal and civil service support staff.

He was commissioned through the Naval ROTC program at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., after receiving his B.A. degree, magna cum laude, in History and Literature. He holds a J.D. degree from the University of Virginia Law School; an LL.M degree from George Washington University in Environmental Law and Land Use; and a master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the College of Naval Warfare.

Following his retirement from military service, he served as Executive Director of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, a non-profit charity providing college scholarships, until his selection as NASA General Counsel.

Administrator O’Keefe also announced the appointment of John (Jack) Mannix, former Associate General Counsel for General Law, and Keith Sefton, Chief of Staff to the General Counsel, as Deputy General Counsel and Deputy General Counsel for Management and Administration, respectively.

For more information about NASA and the Office of General Counsel, visit the Internet at:

SpaceRef staff editor.