NASA Internal Memo: Lynn Cline Is Retiring From NASA

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Tuesday, November 29, 2011

image From: Cline, Lynn (HQ-CA000)
Sent: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 7:50 AM
Subject: My retirement

Dear Colleagues:

When I came to NASA for what was supposed to be a 3-month student internship, I had no idea NASA would become my life's work. I look back with great appreciation for all of the opportunities I have had. I have worked with many wonderful and dedicated people -- my NASA colleagues, partners in industry and academia, and international partners.

I have had the privilege of working on many missions in space and Earth science as well as human space flight. I started from the international perspective, putting in place the agreements for such programs as SOHO, Cassini and the International Space Station.

For me, moving from the External Relations Office, where I had worked for the majority of my career on international partnerships and space policy, to Space Operations was a leap of faith. I wasn't sure how my skill set would fit in. But from my perspective, it turned out to be the right decision, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my last 8 years on the program side of our activities.

During my time in Space Operations/Human Exploration and Operations, our Space Shuttle team went from the Columbia accident, through recovery and return to flight, to finishing strong. The International Space Station team completed its assembly tasks and outfitting with the Shuttle and we are well positioned for the Station's next phase of operations and utilization, including the development of new transportation capabilities; a refocus on research; and many opportunities for technology, engineering and operations demonstrations to prepare for exploration beyond low Earth orbit. We consolidated and are in the process of transforming our Space Communications and Navigation assets. I have a special fondness for my colleagues in Launch Services since I was given the opportunity to lead that team twice and saw their professionalism through dynamic times. I congratulate them on achieving 5 successful launches in the last six months. I've focused a lot on various aspects of strategic communications - how we tell our story to many external audiences, whether legislative, our next generation of explorers, or the general public. I can't emphasize enough how important this is. And merging Exploration Systems and Space Operations into our Human Exploration and Operations organization introduced me to another team of talented employees. I have every confidence that this Directorate will lead NASA into a bright future. I am proud to have been associated with all of these efforts.

I have had the privilege of working alongside great leaders - Bill Readdy and Bill Gerstenmaier, and all too briefly Doug Cooke and Laurie Leshin. And it has been a joy to have Jeanette Covington's support for many years.

A lot has changed in 36 years. My first project was the Apollo Soyuz Test Project. Think about where we were then and where we are now. NASA is an amazing place to work!

After 36 years with my NASA family, it's time for me to focus on my family at home. I will retire effective December 31, 2011. My last official day in the office is December 16. I will still follow aerospace, but more as an observer than a participant, other than the occasional foray into support for professional societies. (I've already accepted my first post-NASA speaking engagement!)

Though my plans are known to many of you, others have raised questions and asked when it would be official, so I felt it was time to make a formal announcement. But please note that I am not gone yet and one look at my calendar or my in-box will confirm that I will remain fully engaged until I depart!

Thanks to all of you for your support and best wishes for your future,


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