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Message from the Deputy NASA Administrator – June 29, 2020

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Monday, June 29, 2020

Message from the Deputy Administrator – June 29, 2020
 
 
Dear NASA Family, 
 
The recent acts of police brutality have sparked civil unrest throughout our country and raised critically important questions within the NASA Family. Many of you have been impacted by these events in ways that I cannot pretend to understand. While I have not shared in your life experiences, I care deeply about your wellbeing and am committed to ensuring that NASA is an agency where equality, inclusion, diversity, and compassion drive our culture.  
 
On a personal note, I have been examining my own behaviors to ensure I am the most effective leader I can be for this agency. As some of you may know, my life was changed dramatically 10 years ago when I was in a plane crash. As I learned how to walk again and started to appreciate the second chance I had been given, I committed to becoming a better version of myself than I had been. Witnessing and sharing in the sincere, heartfelt responses from our workforce in the days following these deplorable acts of violence have impacted me in a similar way. All NASA leadership will continue to make it a priority to unite our agency and support our workforce, which is essential to achieve NASA’s inspiring missions.
 
In the coming days you will see new actions from the NASA Administrator and leadership to solidify our agency’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equality. We stand committed to providing the best possible work environment for the entire NASA Family.
 
As we continue to do the important work of moving our mission forward, I would ask that you join me in respecting and creating space for the strong, emotional impacts these and other events continue to have on our NASA team members.  
 
Please consider participating in the listening sessions and forums that are occurring at your Centers. The reports coming in across the agency about the effectiveness of these opportunities are both humbling and inspiring. We are learning how to better understand each other as human beings and growing in our appreciation for the challenges so many in our workforce have experienced. Also, I urge you to reach out to the Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity and the Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer to take advantage of the many resources they have made available for the NASA Family.
 
While these may be difficult conversations for some, we need to keep up these kind of discussions to ensure NASA continues to foster an atmosphere of inclusion and respect for all. I want to reaffirm that the NASA Administrator, myself, and all of NASA leadership are committed to this agency being a place of unity, respect and decency. At the same time, discrimination, including racism, will not be tolerated. Only by embracing an inclusive culture can we live up to our core principles of safety, integrity, teamwork and excellence. 
 
We all hope that these conversations lead to transformational impacts to improve how we operate at NASA. We may have a long way to go as an agency, and a country, but I am thankful to be on this journey as a part of the NASA Family. 
 
Please remember, diversity makes NASA great, and we are all NASA. 
 
Thank you.
 
Jim Morhard
 

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