NASA Administrator Charles Bolden announced today that Geoff Yoder will assume leadership responsibilities for the James Webb Space Telescope, serving as program director at the agency's headquarters in Washington, effective June 30, 2012. He succeeds Rick Howard, who retires on that date.
Yoder currently serves as the director of the Office of Evaluation at NASA Headquarters, which assesses NASA programs, projects and institutions for cost effectiveness, quality, and performance in achieving strategic objectives, including ensuring alignment with national goals and the agency's vision and mission. His team also reviews newly proposed and ongoing programs and projects to provide an objective assessment to the mission directorates and agency Program Management Councils.
"Rick Howard took the helm of a problematic James Webb Space Telescope program and in short order, made it a well managed program that's both on schedule and on budget," Bolden said. "While I hate to see Rick go, I know the program is in good hands. Geoff has the program experience to keep it on track and moving forward!"
The Webb is the world's next-generation space observatory and successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. The most powerful space telescope ever built, Webb will provide images of the very first galaxies ever formed, and explore planets around distant stars. The Webb is a joint project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.