Status Report

NASA OCOMM Leadership Updates

By SpaceRef Editor
January 14, 2021
Filed under ,

Subject: OCOMM Leadership Updates


Over the last two years, NASA Communications has undergone a transformation focused on providing the agency a united and strategic direction for communications. Since March 2019, we have taken bold steps to integrate functions and strengthen capabilities, and, in the process, have better coordinated our strategic efforts across the agency.  

Now that we have launched the communications enterprise, it’s time to go into full implementation. To do that, we must expand our leadership team to reflect the needs and goals of the enterprise model and provide additional focus on developing the business unit of Communications to help convey the significant value we bring to the agency, while maintaining focus on the content development and creative direction we do so well.

Johnny Stephenson, who is known across the agency and has significant experience in strategic planning and communications, building a business, and leading large teams, will join the leadership team as OCOM’s Deputy Associate Administrator.  Johnny comes to us from Marshall Space Flight Center, where he served as director of the Office of Strategic Analysis and Communications these last five years.  In his new role as our principal deputy associate administrator, center communications directors and headquarters division directors will report to him.

Johnny has headquarters experience, having served as one of the founding leaders during the start-up of NASA’s Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation.  He also has programmatic experience, having chaired the Source Evaluation Board for the Ares Avionics unit award, and brings engineering experience from his many years in Marshall’s Engineering Directorate. Additionally, Johnny successfully led efforts in large-scale organizational change, having received NASA’s Distinguished Service Medal for his leadership of the agency’s One NASA initiative, which served as a foundational component of our early efforts to think as a unified enterprise.  

Johnny has been instrumental in helping us launch the Communications enterprise and will help us: elevate our strategic communication efforts with the mission directorates and key stakeholders; define the rigor and discipline required for the enterprise, from a business perspective; and build a cohesive, agency-wide Communications team.  

With Johnny stepping in as the principal DAA, Bob Jacobs will serve as Deputy Associate Administrator For Media Operations And Technology, where he can focus his considerable expertise and experience on content development, multimedia development, creative direction, and other areas where his time previously was divided. Bob will report to the principal deputy and continue to leverage his expertise in multimedia and media operations to ensure strong messaging and the implementation of a strategic enterprise approach to our efforts. As you know, Bob has helped the agency win just about every industry award imaginable for the agency’s creative multimedia efforts – from Emmys to Webbys. In 2008, he put the agency on a path to building what is, today, one of the world’s best social media brands. In his 20 years with the agency, he has earned NASA’s Distinguished Service Medal and other awards. 

Putting in place two respected leaders with diverse, yet complementary, skillsets will help elevate NASA’s communication efforts, shepherd the successful implementation of MAP, create a healthier organization, and empower the communications enterprise so that it can more rapidly respond to the needs of the agency. 

Additional steps will be taken to strengthen and solidify leadership of the Communications enterprise.  As we’ve discussed since the enterprise was announced, we’ll be soon be announcing the senior leadership position for the Strategic Planning and Integration Division and working with agency leadership in securing and posting a Senior Executive Service position for the Public Engagement Division. We also will be moving History into its own division and getting the chief historian position posted as soon as possible.

Our goal with this transition is to position the team for success in the future and ensure the next Associate Administrator for Communications has all the tools needed to empower this team to do its best. 

Please know how much I appreciate the hard work everyone has put into making this enterprise possible. This is just the beginning of great things. You’re just starting. I’m honored to have been a part of getting this larger organization off the ground and I want to thank each of you.



Bettina Inclán

Associate Administrator

Office of Communications

SpaceRef staff editor.