Press Release

NASA Administrator Selects New Biological and Physical Research Associate Administrator

By SpaceRef Editor
March 4, 2002
Filed under ,

Mary E. Kicza today was named Associate Administrator
for Biological and Physical Research at NASA Headquarters in
Washington, effective March 11. Kicza is currently Associate
Center Director at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center,
Greenbelt, Md.

At Goddard, she is the senior manager responsible for
coordinating and integrating all Goddard space science, Earth
science, and enabling technology programs and activities.

In making the selection, NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe
praised Kicza’s extensive management experience. “For two
decades, Mary has managed an extremely diverse scientific
community. She has the leadership skills and the management
expertise to bring NASA’s fields of physics, chemistry and
biology together into a truly dynamic and successful

As Associate Administrator, Kicza will manage an office
dedicated to conducting basic and applied research to support
human exploration of space, and to taking advantage of the
space environment as a laboratory for scientific,
technological and commercial research.

She began her NASA career in 1982 at the Kennedy Space Center
in Florida, where she was lead systems engineer for the
Centaur Engineering Support Group and test coordinator for
computer systems supporting the program’s tests and launches.

>From 1994 to 1996, she was the Assistant Associate
Administrator for Technology for the Office of Space Science
at NASA Headquarters in Washington. From 1992 to 1994, she
held two positions at the same time, serving as Deputy
Division Director for the Office of Space Science’s Solar
System Exploration Division and working as Program Manager
for the newly formed Discovery Program, which included the
highly successful Mars Pathfinder mission.

Prior to her current assignment at Goddard, Kicza was
Associate Center Director for Space Science Programs, where
she was the senior person responsible for management of all
of the center’s space science programs. While in the
position, she also served as co-chair of the team performing
independent annual reviews of the International Space Station
and its research programs.

“In leading this office, you have to be able to juggle a lot
of disciplines at the same time,” added Administrator
O’Keefe. “Mary will work closely with our new Chief
Scientist, Dr. Shannon Lucid, in identifying and implementing
this agency’s scientific research goals and objectives in

Kicza is the recipient of NASA’s Exceptional Performance
Award and in 1998 was conferred the rank of Meritorious
Executive in the Senior Executive Service for sustained
superior accomplishment in the management of programs of the
United States government. She has a bachelor’s degree in
Electrical and Electronics Engineering from California State
University, Sacramento, and a master’s degree in Business
Administration from the Florida Institute of Technology.

She replaces Dr. Kathie Olsen, who has been serving as both
Acting Associate Administrator and Chief Scientist for the
agency. The President has announced his intention to nominate
Olsen as the Associate Director of the Office of Science and
Technology Policy (OSTP) in the Executive Office of the

Additional information about the NASA Office of Biological
and Physical Research is available on the Internet at:

SpaceRef staff editor.