NASA announces New Office
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new office dedicated to technological and policy challenges has been established at NASA Headquarters. This would be part of a reorganization that would also include the formation of a new job for space security at the civil space agency.
NASA announced many leadership changes on November 1st, the majority of which involved reassigning existing staff to new roles. The formation of the Office of Technology, Policy, and Strategy is the most significant development (OTPS). The Office of Strategic Engagements and Assessments and the Office of the Chief Technologist will be merged to accomplish this.
Responsibilities of the Office
The office will provide NASA leadership with “data- and evidence-driven technological, policy, and strategy assistance,” according to a statement from the agency. Bhavya Lal, who was a member of the Biden administration’s NASA transition team before serving as acting chief of staff. As associate administrator, senior adviser for budget and finance will manage the office.
In a statement, Bill Nelson stated, “As we continue to push the boundaries of exploration, OTPS and these senior positions will ensure our cutting-edge technology, strategy, and policy form for success.”
“We’re also beefing up our analyses and recommendations on geopolitical challenges and hazards that NASA or the space sector may face.”
Other modifications include the creation of a position of chief resilience officer, who will be in charge of managing NASA’s reaction to the pandemic and the implementation of relevant regulations. This includes the agency’s “Future of Work” initiative, which aims to create a hybrid workplace. Melanie Saunders, who was previously the deputy associate administrator, will be the new administrator.
Casey Swails, formerly the associate administrator’s senior adviser and chief of staff, will be the deputy associate administrator for business operations.
Douglas Terrier, NASA’s lead technologist for the past five years, will be promoted to assistant director for vision and strategy at the Johnson Space Center, a new job there. Lal will serve as acting chief technologist until a permanent replacement is found.
A former NASA official endorsed the adjustments, which went into effect immediately. “My enthusiasm for the new Office of Technology, Policy, and Strategy is only surpassed by my enthusiasm for its boss,” Mike Gold stated. He is the current executive vice president for civil space and external relations at Redwire and was previously an associate administrator for space policy and partnerships at NASA.
He pointed out that Lal has a lot of experience with space issues because of her work at the Science and Technology Policy Institute, where she looked into everything from space nuclear power to low-Earth orbit commercialization. Dr. Lal is an unrivaled candidate for this job, according to Gold. “If Dr. Lal didn’t write the book on a subject, she at the very least published a report on it.”