Status Report

NASA Announces Senior Leadership Changes to Refocus Launch Readiness Efforts for Webb Telescope

By SpaceRef Editor
March 30, 2018
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Subject: NASA Announces Senior Leadership Changes to Refocus Launch Readiness Efforts for Webb Telescope
Date: March 30, 2018
Point of Contact: Roy Maizel, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, 202-358-2630
NASA Announces Senior Leadership Changes to Refocus Launch Readiness Efforts for Webb Telescope
NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) is taking essential steps to refocus efforts to ensure a successful mission for the agency’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) after an independent assessment of remaining tasks revealed more time is needed for testing and integration to meet a new launch window of approximately May 2020. Webb is SMD’s highest priority project and the largest international space science project in U.S. history. All of the observatory’s flight hardware is now complete. To best assure launch readiness, SMD has made the following personnel changes:
Greg Robinson, SMD’s deputy associate administrator for programs, will become the Webb program director. As director, Robinson will focus on increasing integration and testing efficiency and effectiveness, and will add additional management processes to ensure continuous NASA visibility in contractor activities. Robinson previously served as deputy center director at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, as well as NASA’s deputy chief engineer from 2005-2013. He also served as the acting National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service deputy assistant administrator at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), where he led the acquisition and management of all NOAA satellite systems. Prior to Robinson’s reassignment to NASA Headquarters in 1999, he spent 11 years in various leadership positions at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
Sandra Connelly will become SMD’s deputy associate administrator for programs.  Connelly is currently SMD’s Joint Agency Satellite Division director, where she is responsible for managing reimbursable satellite, instrument, and ground system development performed by NASA for partner agencies. From 2014 – 2015, she served as the deputy director for the Heliophysics Division in SMD, providing executive leadership, strategic direction, and management for a portfolio of 24 flight projects.  Prior to joining SMD, she served as director for engineering, program and project management in NASA’s Office of the Chief Engineer. 
John Lee, currently the Joint Agency Satellite Division (JASD) deputy director, will become the acting director of JASD. Lee has previously served as a program executive in SMD’s Heliophysics Division, where he managed the formulation and implementation of several flight missions, as well as the New Millennium Program, a technology validation program that encompassed multiple flight projects in various stages of development.  He has also served in senior positions at the Office of Management and Budget during two detail assignments to that organization.
Eric Smith, currently the Webb program director, will remain focused on Webb as program scientist, leading overall science planning for the mission.  In addition, he will become chief scientist of SMD’s Astrophysics Division.  Prior to becoming JWST deputy program director in 2010, Smith was both the JWST and Hubble Space Telescope program scientist.  Before coming to NASA Headquarters, he worked at Goddard as a member of science teams and as project scientist for several Explorer mission studies, as well as a member of the team developing the data archiving and distribution system for Hubble. He has been involved with the JWST telescope project since 1996, serving as the deputy project scientist from 1996-2001. 
This notice is being sent agency-wide to all employees by NASA INC in the Office of Communications at NASA Headquarters.

SpaceRef staff editor.