Press Release

NASA’s Joseph Pelfrey Named Deputy Director of Marshall in Huntsville, Alabama

By SpaceRef Editor
April 21, 2022
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Joseph Pelfrey has been appointed deputy director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. 

In this role, he will assist in leading Marshall’s nearly 7,000 onsite and near-site civil service and contractor employees and oversee its annual budget of approximately $4 billion. He will also help guide Marshall’s broad portfolio of human spaceflight, science, and technology development efforts, which touches nearly every mission NASA pursues.

“It’s my pleasure to welcome to Marshall’s executive leadership team such a smart, caring, detail-oriented engineer and manager,” said Marshall Director Jody Singer. “I’ve been privileged to work with Joseph Pelfrey for many years at Marshall, and he’s an inexhaustible source of insight and invention – both critical to executing NASA’s mission every time we fly and every day we come to work.” 

Previously, Pelfrey was manager of Marshall’s Human Exploration Development and Operations Office from 2020-2022, overseeing management and implementation of Marshall’s work portfolio in the areas of human exploration and transportation projects; habitation systems, payload and mission operations and integration; and International Space Station payload, facility, environmental control and life support systems project development and integration. He also served from 2018-2020 as deputy manager of that organization. 

Throughout his NASA career, he has served in multiple technical leadership positions at Marshall. He began his career as an industry partner, supporting development of space station payload hardware. He joined Marshall in 2004 as an aerospace engineer in the Science and Mission Systems Office, and went on to serve in various leadership roles within the ISS Program, and leading the development, integration, and operations of multiple payload facilities and science experiments.

In 2008, Pelfrey joined Marshall’s Engineering Directorate to serve as the design integration lead for the Ares I Upper Stage, the rocket that would inform development of NASA’s Space Launch System. In 2011, he was named engineering task manager for the Space Launch System’s Spacecraft/Payload Integration and Evolution Office and, subsequently, manager of the Commercial Orbital Transportation ServicesProject at Marshall.

In 2012, Pelfrey was appointed deputy manager and then manager of the Exploration and Space Transportation Development Office in Marshall’s Flight Programs and Partnerships Office. In 2016, he was appointed to the Senior Executive Service post of associate director for operations in Marshall’s Engineering Directorate. The Senior Executive Service is the personnel system covering most top managerial, supervisory and policy positions in the executive branch of the federal government.

A native of Cheraw, South Carolina, Pelfrey received a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Auburn University in 2000. He resides in Huntsville with his wife Nicole and daughter Adelyn.

Learn more about Marshall’s work to support the nation’s mission in space at:

SpaceRef staff editor.