- Press Release
- Feb 4, 2023
NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin Announces Resignation
Oct. 17, 2001
After nearly ten years as the head of America’s space program, NASA’s longest-serving Administrator, Daniel S. Goldin, today announced his resignation, effective November 17.
“For nearly a decade, it has been my honor to serve the
American people by leading our Nation’s space program and its
dedicated personnel,” Administrator Goldin said in a letter
to President George W. Bush. “It was the highlight of my life
when your father asked me in 1992 to serve as America’s ninth
Administrator for the National Aeronautics and Space
In his letter, the Administrator added he was happy and proud
to serve three presidents and considered it an honor and a
duty to stay when President Bush asked him to minister the
office until a new NASA Administrator was found.
While no replacement has been selected, Administrator Goldin
will work with the Administration before he leaves office to
identify an interim Acting Administrator.
Administrator Goldin, 61, was appointed NASA Administrator
April 1, 1992, by President George H.W. Bush and became the
Agency’s longest-serving chief on March 5, 2001, surpassing
James Fletcher’s previous record of nearly nine years during
two separate terms.
The Administrator also announced he has accepted an interim
position as a Senior Fellow for the Council on
Competitiveness in Washington, as he transitions into the
private sector. The Council sets an action agenda to drive
U.S. economic competitiveness and leadership in world markets
to raise the standard of living for all Americans, and
focuses on strengthening domestic innovation, upgrading the
workforce, and benchmarking national economic performance.
In a speech to NASA employees broadcast nationwide on NASA
Television, Administrator Goldin thanked the Agency workforce
and applauded their dedication.
“We have been through a lot together these past ten years.
Our Agency’s greatest strength is this team of highly
qualified and diverse people,” said Administrator Goldin.
“Each and every day, you have demonstrated an unyielding
devotion to teamwork, communication, creativity and respect.
You are clearly committed to excellence. I am proud to have
been a part of that commitment and NASA’s continuing mission
to expand the frontiers of flight, space and knowledge.”
During his tenure, Administrator Goldin initiated a
revolution to transform America’s aeronautics and space
program. Despite lower budgets, his “faster, better, cheaper”
approach enabled NASA to deliver programs of high value
without sacrificing safety.
Through aggressive management reforms, Administrator Goldin
reduced annual budgets by cumulative total of $40 billion. He
implemented a more balanced aeronautics and space program by
reducing human space flight funding from nearly half of
NASA’s total budget to a little more than one-third. This
allowed him to increase funding for science and aerospace
technology by more than 10 percent.
While serving as Administrator, the Agency’s civil service
workforce was reduced by about a third, while the
Headquarters’ civil service and contractor workforce was
reduced by more than half. However, during this time, NASA’s
overall productivity climbed 40 percent.
Administrator Goldin cut the time required to develop Earth-
and space-science spacecraft by 40 percent and reduced the
cost by two-thirds, while increasing the average number of
missions launched per year by a factor of four. The number of
Earth-observing satellites in orbit, collecting vital data,
has tripled over the past nine years.
The Administrator played a pivotal role in redesigning the
International Space Station and reduced Space Shuttle costs
by about one-third, while improving all of NASA’s safety
indicators. He has been a vigorous proponent for increased
exploration of Mars, and expanded opportunities for public
and educational participation in the adventure of space
exploration. NASA contract awards to minority, small and
disadvantaged businesses, and women-owned ventures have more
During the Administrator’s tenure, NASA launched 171
missions, of which 160 have been successful.
“Being appointed NASA Administrator was the fulfillment of a
childhood dream. This is the greatest job in the world and it
is difficult to leave a job you love,” Administrator Goldin
concluded. “But NASA’s mission of discovery will continue.
Humanity will continue to benefit from the fruits of this
journey and I am proud and deeply humbled by the opportunity
that was given me. The people of NASA have my unconditional
respect and eternal gratitude.”
Before coming to NASA, Administrator Goldin was Vice
President and General Manager of the TRW Space and Technology
Group in Redondo Beach, Calif. During a 25-year career at
TRW, he led projects for America’s defense, and
conceptualized and managed production of advanced
communication spacecraft, space technologies and scientific
Administrator Goldin began his career in 1962 at NASA’s Lewis
Research Center in Cleveland, now known as the Glenn Research
Center. While there he worked on electric propulsion systems
for human interplanetary travel.
Administrator Goldin is a member of the National Academy of
Engineers and a Fellow of the American Institute of
Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Additional images and information about Administrator Goldin
and his accomplishments are available on the Internet at:
Information about the Council on Competitiveness is available
on the World Wide Web at: