NASA Associate Administrator Rex Geveden announced Wednesday that he will leave the agency at the end of July to join Teledyne Technologies as the president of Teledyne Brown Engineering, Huntsville, Ala. NASA Administrator Michael Griffin has selected Christopher Scolese to succeed Geveden as associate administrator, the No. 3 position in the agency.
Geveden joined NASA in 1990 and has served since July 2005 as associate administrator, a position not filled in several decades but re-established by Griffin to integrate the technical and programmatic elements of the agency. During that time, Geveden made major contributions to the success of agency missions and operations.
Earlier in his NASA career, Geveden held several positions, including agency chief engineer, deputy director of the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., and program manager for the Gravity Probe B mission.
"In the course of my 36 years in the aerospace business, I have yet to work with a finer individual than Rex Geveden," Griffin said. "He possesses one of the most agile minds I have encountered and combines it with a big-picture view that has been invaluable. Combined with his comprehensive knowledge of NASA, a sure sense of both institutional and program management, the ability to put others at ease in almost any situation, a sense of humor that is always 'on,' and an imperturbable moral compass, Rex has set a standard for performance at NASA that will not easily be bettered. I will miss his steady hand in helping to guide the agency."
Scolese, who currently serves as NASA's chief engineer, joined the space agency in 1987. He also has served as deputy director of the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., and deputy associate administrator in the Office of Space Science, where he directed NASA's space science flight program, mission studies, technology development and overall contract management of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.
Scolese also served as the Earth Observing System program manager and the deputy director of flight programs and projects for Earth science at Goddard. In this position, Scolese was responsible for the operation and development of all Earth science missions assigned to Goddard. At Goddard, he also served as the Earth Observing System Terra project manager, responsible for the development of instruments, spacecraft, interface with the Earth Science Data and Information System, integration and launch. In addition, he was the systems manager responsible for the Earth Observing System architecture.
"If anyone can replace Rex Geveden as NASA associate administrator without breaking stride in the progress we have made over the last two years, it is Chris Scolese," Griffin said of Scolese's elevation to the No. 3 position in the agency. "A veteran of both the U.S. Navy and NASA, experienced in both institutional and program management, Chris is the kind of person I have in mind when I talk about how, at NASA, I serve with the best people this country has to offer."