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Four tapped for key positions at Marshall Center

Press Release From: Marshall Space Flight Center
Posted: Tuesday, January 9, 2001

James W. Kennedy has been named deputy director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., succeeding Carolyn Griner, who retired Jan. 3.

Marshall Center Director Art Stephenson also tapped three others for key positions at the Center: Axel Roth has been named associate director; John W. Kilpatrick Jr. was appointed director of the Engineering Directorate; and Dr. Jan Davis was chosen director of the Flight Projects Directorate.

Kennedy, who joined the Marshall Center in 1969 when he transferred as a cooperative education student from the Kennedy Space Center, Fla., has served as Marshall's Center director of engineering since June 1999.

Previously, Kennedy served as deputy director and acting director for the former Science and Engineering Directorate. A native of Riverdale, Md., Kennedy has played an increasingly crucial role in NASA's Space Shuttle program and ultimately served as project manager of the Solid Rocket Booster Project Office. Additionally, he was assigned to the Advanced Space Transportation Project, where he served as project manager of the DC-XA and the X-34.

Roth, in his position as associate director, will provide executive leadership by reviewing and making decisions on overall Center management policies. Prior to this appointment, Roth, a native of Darmstadt, Germany, was director of the Flight Projects Directorate.

A charter member of the Marshall Center team, Roth has held a series of increasingly responsible positions, including Payload Operations director for the Spacelab-2 Mission; manager of the Operations Office and Habitability Module Office, Space Station Projects Office; chief engineer of Spacelab Payload Integration; deputy manager of the Space Station Projects Office; deputy director and director of Program Development; and director of the Flight Projects Directorate.

Kilpatrick, who will assume the duties previously performed by Kennedy, served as deputy director of the Engineering Directorate prior to this appointment.

A native of Chamblee, Ga., he joined Marshall in 1968 as an aerospace engineer in the former Missions Operations Office. He has contributed to such major programs as Skylab, Spacelab, the International Space Station, and payload development in various laboratories within the Science and Engineering Directorate.

In 1985, Kilpatrick was appointed team leader of the Flight Requirements Team in the Systems Analysis and Integration Laboratory -- the first of numerous key positions within the former Science and Engineering Directorate. He advanced in 1986 to chief of the Flight Operations Branch of the laboratory, and in 1990 was named deputy chief of the Mission Systems Division, as well as chief of the Operations Engineering Division - both within the Mission Operations Laboratory. In 1998 Kilpatrick was named director of the Systems Integration and Analysis Laboratory.

Davis -- a former astronaut who flew on three Space Shuttle missions -- will assume Roth's responsibilities as director of the Flight Projects Directorate, where she previously served as deputy director.

A native of Huntsville, Davis began her career at Marshall in 1979 as an aerospace engineer. She subsequently supported major NASA programs and projects, including the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and the Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission. In 1986, she became a team lead and lead engineer for the redesign of the Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster External Tank attach ring.

Davis was selected to join the astronaut corps in 1987. She spent more than 670 hours in space over the course of her three flights: STS-47, STS-60 and STS-85. While in the astronaut corps, she also served as the Mission Development Branch chief in payloads, robotics and extravehicular activity for the Space Shuttle. In 1998, Davis became the director of the Human Exploration and Development of Space Independent Assurance Office for NASA Headquarters.

She returned to Marshall in 1999 as deputy director of the Flight Projects Directorate.

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