- Press Release
- Dec 2, 2022
New Drector Named for JSC Space and Life Sciences Directorate
On Sept. 9, Dr. Jeffrey Davis will assume the duties of director, Space and
Life Sciences Directorate, at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston.
The current director, Dr. Dafydd (Dave) Rhys Williams, is returning to his
duties as an active Canadian Space Agency astronaut to prepare for a future
spaceflight assignment. He first flew in space in 1998 on STS-90, the
Neurolab science research mission.
Davis has held the position of deputy associate administrator for crew
health and safety at NASA Headquarters since July 2001. Since then, he has
divided his time between NASA and the University of Texas Medical Branch
(UTMB) in Galveston, Texas, under an Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA)
that allows him to be “on loan” from UTMB to contribute his expertise in the
area of space medicine development. He will continue to work under the IPA
in his new position, serving 80 percent of his time at JSC and NASA
Headquarters, and 20 percent of his time coordinating and administrating the
UTMB Preventive Medicine Residency Program and Corporate Health Consortium.
Davis served at JSC from 1984 to 1991 in a variety of positions, including
flight surgeon, chief of the Flight Medicine Clinic and chief of the Medical
Operations Branch. He served as corporate medical director for American
Airlines, Inc., from 1991 to 1994.
Davis earned his bachelor’s degree at Stanford University, his medical
degree at the University of California at San Diego and his master’s degree
in aerospace medicine at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. He
currently serves as chair of the American Board of Preventive Medicine, and
just completed service as chair of the Residency Review Committee for
Preventive Medicine. He also serves on the Executive Committee of the
American Board of Medical Specialties.
Davis belongs to several professional societies and associations including
the Civil Aviation Medical Association, the International Academy of
Aviation and Space Medicine and the American College of Occupational and
Environmental Medicine. He is an American College of Preventive Medicine
Fellow and past president of the Aerospace Medical Association.
Williams has a master’s degree in physiology and a doctorate in medicine
from McGill University in Montreal. In 1993, he was appointed manager of the
Missions and Space Medicine Group within the Canadian Space Agency’s
Astronaut Program. In 1995, he was selected to join the NASA astronaut
candidate class as a mission specialist. He has led the Space and Life
Sciences Directorate since July 1998.