Space Stations

Jim Royston Named Interim Director of CASIS Dr. Jeanne Becker Steps Down From Leadership Role

By Marc Boucher
March 16, 2012
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Jim Royston Named Interim Director of CASIS Dr. Jeanne Becker Steps Down From Leadership Role

Today, Jim Royston was named interim director for the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) – the non-profit entity selected in 2011 by NASA to maximize utilization of the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory. The appointment comes following the resignation of Dr. Jeanne Becker, who was hired as director of the organization in fall 2011.
The Board received Dr. Becker’s resignation last week and accepted it as a result of ongoing disputes in relation to the pace and direction of the implementation of CASIS’ mission. The Board has now established an Executive Office of the Chairman within CASIS to drive the organization toward rapid development during this period. Royston has stepped down from his current role as CASIS Director of Strategy and Planning to assume the interim role. He holds considerable executive leadership experience and will provide day-to-day direction to the staff of CASIS. Howard Haug, a member of the CASIS Board of Directors, who also has considerable executive leadership and operational experience will assist Royston as Executive Officer, to ensure the continued, aggressive roll out of CASIS in the marketplace.

The CASIS Board of Directors will immediately initiate a national search for a qualified executive to lead the organization. Emphasis will be placed on identifying a respected, high profile executive with extensive science and management skills.

The ISS National Lab provides a one-of-a-kind microgravity research environment that cannot be replicated on Earth. The facility offers a broad spectrum of extreme conditions for basic and applied research in such areas as biological sciences, biotechnology, human health, physical and materials science, earth and space imaging and engineering R&D. CASIS is dedicated to supporting, promoting and accelerating innovations and new discoveries in science, engineering and technology – via the ISS National Lab – that have high probability of return-on-investment in the marketplace, and the betterment of humankind and life on our planet.

“We thank Dr. Becker for her service during the start-up of CASIS and extend our best wishes for her success in future endeavors,” said CASIS Board Member and Space Florida President Frank DiBello. “We are confident that we will identify a new director for the organization in the near term and look forward to taking CASIS to the next level – aggressively building a market and pursuing R&D customers for the ISS National Lab.”

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About CASIS: The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) was selected by NASA in July 2011 to maximize use of the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory through 2020. CASIS is dedicated to supporting and accelerating innovations and new discoveries that will enhance the health and wellbeing of people and our planet. For more information, visit

About the ISS National Laboratory: In 2005, Congress designated the U.S. portion of the International Space Station as the nation’s newest national laboratory to maximize its use for improving life on Earth, promoting collaboration among diverse users and advancing STEM education. This unique laboratory environment is available for use by other U.S. government agencies and by academic and private institutions, providing access to the permanent microgravity setting, vantage point in low-earth orbit and varied environments of space. The NASA National Lab Office currently facilitates research initiatives on board the ISS NL, but management of the Nation’s only on-orbit laboratory is now transitioning to CASIS.

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