Status Report

Janet Karika Named NASA Chief of Staff

By SpaceRef Editor
November 27, 2018
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Janet Karika Named Chief of Staff
I am honored today to announce that Ms. Janet Karika will begin serving as my Chief of Staff on Monday, Nov. 26. Ms. Karika is a recognized subject matter expert on space policy, space transportation, and non-proliferation. In her current role, she supports the NASA Launch Services Program (LSP) and the NASA Headquarters Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) Launch Services Office (LSO) as the Jacobs Executive Director of Interagency Launch Programs. She has a history of working space-related issues and studies to support congressional staffs, the Executive Branch, and various federal agencies and departments, including the National Security Council, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Departments of Commerce, Defense, State and Transportation.
During her 38 years in the space and missile field, Ms. Karika served as the Executive Advisor to the Air Force for space acquisition programs and as the Assistant for Launch Systems for the Office of the Secretary of Defense. During her military career, she was the Air Force Program Executive Office for Space (AFPEO/Space)’s Director for Launch Programs during the transition from heritage launch programs to the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program. She worked on the development of ICBMs, upper stages for launch vehicles, commanded a 72-person nuclear detection operations center, and was a Materials Research Scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center.
Ms. Karika holds a B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering with emphasis in ultra-high temperature composites used in space propulsion and thermal protection systems. She is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). She serves on the FAA’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) and chairs its Infrastructure Working Group. She is the Women in Aerospace (WIA) Board of Directors Vice Chair.
While we are welcoming Ms. Karika, I also want to express how tremendously grateful I am for the work Mr. Tom Cremins has done over the last eight months in his dual capacity as Acting Chief of Staff and Associate Administrator for Strategy and Plans.  He has served with excellence, and I am looking forward to continuing our close working relationship in his new capacity as Associate Administrator, Strategic Engagement and Assessments (AA/SEA). There continues to be a requirement for strategic coordination within the Office of the Administrator given the increasingly diverse and growing interests and capabilities in space and aeronautics, and in light of the President’s major new exploration campaign. In addition to current strategy and plan activity, we have determined a need exists for an integrated strategic engagement effort. The focus of the office will be on existing and expanded opportunities and alignment across the international, commercial and intergovernmental areas, and will be supported by targeted and timely studies and assessments.
It is an exciting time at NASA, and I am very thankful for our team. Many of you will be meeting Ms. Karika for the first time in the days ahead, and I am confident she will come to appreciate just how special it is to be a part of the NASA Family. Thank you all for making our agency such a wonderful place to serve our country.
Ad Astra,
Jim Bridenstine

SpaceRef staff editor.