Press Release

NASA General Counsel Paul G. Pastorek Returns to Private Law Practice

By SpaceRef Editor
June 25, 2004
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Administrator Sean O’Keefe today announced that NASA General Counsel Paul G. Pastorek will to return to private law practice. He has been a key member of the NASA senior management team and a trusted advisor to Administrator O’Keefe for the past two-and-one-half years.

Pastorek will return to the law firm of Adams & Reese in New Orleans. He had been on a leave of absence from the firm while at NASA. Before Pastorek joined the agency early in 2002, he was head of that firm’s Special Business Services Practice Group, which practiced in the areas of employment and labor, intellectual property, health care, oil and gas, and environment and education.

“Paul’s done a fabulous job and is an exemplary public servant. I knew when I asked him to leave his successful law practice to serve as my General Counsel that this day would come, but that doesn’t make his departure any easier,” said Administrator O’Keefe. “His leadership throughout the Columbia tragedy helped the nation and the entire NASA family get through a truly difficult time, and he emerged as one of the prime architects of the agency’s transformation as we work to advance the President’s Vision for Space Exploration.”

Pastorek directed development and the initial implementation of NASA’s transformation plan, which represents a substantial reformulation and streamlining of the organizational structure of the agency. The new alignment clarifies the roles and responsibilities of senior leadership, and mechanisms to hold leadership accountable in order to meet agency missions.

He also led efforts to reshape NASA’s commitment to the Office of Education and helped establish the agency’s organization focus to improve public education literacy in mathematics, science and technology, and to inspire a new generation of explorers. His commitment to education and expertise in the field was a consequence of his service as President of the Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

In addition to employing his great legal skills, NASA benefited from his leadership and many policy and management initiatives. Pastorek’s high energy and dedication earned him both the NASA Distinguished Service and Exceptional Achievement Medals. His ability to challenge all around him to higher levels of performance and achievement will be a lasting legacy.

“I feel most fortunate to have had him with me during both the tumult and the historic achievements realized over past two and a half years. His dedication and sheer determination to win will be missed,” concluded the Administrator. “I wish him Godspeed as he returns to his family and home in New Orleans.”

Pastorek’s time at NASA was marked by a number of other extremely positive and innovative enhancements in the delivery of legal services to the NASA Headquarters and throughout the agency. Most notable were his efforts to bring the legal services of Headquarters and each NASA Center into clear focus with one another and to strive for consistent implementation of best practices management.

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

SpaceRef staff editor.