You are on page 1of 4

Brian Welch Headquarters, Washington, DC (Phone: 202/358-1600)

RELEASE: 00-21

February 7, 2000


NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin announced today that the Agency would merge the Chief Technologist's office with the Office of Aero-Space Technology to better focus the Agency's strategy for maintaining its long-term technology base.

Chief Technologist Samuel Venneri will retain that position while becoming Associate Administrator for Aero- Space Technology. He will succeed Lt. Gen. Spence (Sam) Armstrong, USAF (Ret.), who will become Senior Advisor to the Administrator.

"Gen. Armstrong will be instrumental in leading the Agency's transition from operations to cutting edge research and development," said Goldin. "Gen. Armstrong led the revitalization of the Aerospace Technology Enterprise, and it is with great enthusiasm that I have asked him to take on this new assignment."

Armstrong will spearhead a new initiative that will allow the Agency to create new synergies with universities, industry and other scientific and technical agencies. He will work with academia and industry -- both aerospace and non- aerospace -- to identify new opportunities for NASA partnerships. He will also coordinate NASA's plans with the Department of Defense, Federal Aviation Administration and other agencies to ensure that NASA's activities are integrated with other agencies' and that NASA establishes government-wide partnerships where appropriate.

Goldin also announced the following personnel appointments:

* W. Brian Keegan has been appointed Chief Engineer

* Orlando Figueroa has been appointed Deputy Chief Engineer for Systems Engineering

* Dr. Mary Cleave has been appointed Deputy Associate Administrator (Advanced Planning) for the Office of Earth Science.

In the combined position, Venneri will be the Administrator's principal advisor on Agency-wide technology issues. Under Venneri, the Office of Aero-Space Technology will be charged with developing integrated, long-term, innovative Agency-level technology for aeronautics and space. Venneri will also be responsible for developing new commercial partnerships that exploit technology breakthroughs, and for establishing and maintaining technology core competencies at the NASA Centers.

Venneri has been NASA's Chief Technologist since November 1996. Venneri started his NASA career in 1981 as a Program Manager in the Materials and Structures Division. Before being named Chief Technologist, Mr. Venneri served as Director of the Spacecraft Systems Division in the former Office of Space Access and Technology.

Armstrong, who has headed the Office of Aero-Space Technology since May 1998, was previously Associate Administrator for Human Resources and Education. He was responsible for developing NASA's human resources strategic plan and for furthering NASA's emphasis on national education goals.

Armstrong retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1990 after 34 years of service. His last assignment with the Air Force was Vice Commander, U.S. Air Force Systems Command, consisting of over 53,000 personnel, 15 research laboratories, six weapons systems acquisition divisions and numerous test ranges and facilities.

Keegan comes to NASA Headquarters from the Goddard Space Flight Center, where he has been the Director of Applied Engineering and Technology since 1997. He succeeds Daniel R. Mulville, who recently accepted the position of Associate Deputy Administrator.

The Chief Engineer reports directly to the Administrator and is responsible for overall review of the technical readiness and execution of all NASA programs. The Chief

Engineer also provides an integrated focus for Agency-wide engineering policies, standards, and practices.

As a Goddard employee, Keegan directed a broad spectrum of engineering activity, ranging from technology development to the design, development and testing for flight projects such as the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission and the Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Missions.

In the newly created position of Deputy Chief Engineer for Systems Engineering, Figueroa will be the senior official responsible for focusing and defining the agency ¹s system engineering capabilities. Figueroa will benchmark other systems engineering organizations and develop plans for continuous improvement in NASA systems engineering.

Since 1997, Figueroa has been the Goddard Space Flight Center's Director of Systems, Technology and Advanced Concepts where he was responsible for providing systems engineering expertise and leadership for the development of space flight mission systems and advanced concepts. He joined NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in 1978 after graduating from the University of Puerto Rico.

In her new position, Dr. Cleave will be work with other government agencies and the scientific community to shape the next generation Earth Science program. Her primary responsibility will be developing the Earth Science Enterprise's advanced science, technology and applications plans and priorities. She came to NASA Headquarters from the Goddard Space Flight Center to be the Earth Science Representative to the Chief Scientist. At Goddard she worked in the Laboratory for Hydrospheric Processes and served as the Project Manager for the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor. Previously, Dr. Cleave was a NASA astronaut, flying aboard two Space Shuttle missions, in 1985 and 1989.

Full biographies of these appointees are online at these URLs:

W. Brian Keegan

Orlando Figueroa