List of Administrators and Deputy Administrators of NASA

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Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASA seal.svg
NASA Seal
Constituent part of the Administrator's standard
Robert Lightfoot
Incumbent
Robert M. Lightfoot, Jr. (Acting)

since January 20, 2017
Reports to President
Seat Washington, D.C.
Nominator President
Appointer The President with Senate advice and consent
Term length At the pleasure of the President
Inaugural holder Thomas Keith Glennan
Salary $185,100 annually
(Executive Schedule II)
Website Robert M. Lightfoot Jr, NASA

The Administrator and Deputy Administrator of NASA are the highest-ranked officials of NASA, the space agency of the United States Federal Government. The Administrator serves as the senior space science advisor to the President of the United States. According to NASA, the role of the Administrator is to "lead the NASA team and manage its resources to advance the Vision for Space Exploration."[1] The Deputy Administrator of NASA "serves as the agency’s second in command and is responsible to the administrator for providing overall leadership, planning, and policy direction for the agency. They represent NASA to the Executive Office of the President, Congress, heads of federal and other appropriate government agencies, international organizations, and external organizations and communities. They also oversee the day to day work of NASA’s functional offices, such as the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, Office of General Counsel and Strategic Communications", according to NASA (referring to Shana Dale).[2]

The first Administrator of NASA was Dr. T. Keith Glennan; during his term he brought together the disparate projects in space development research in the US.[3] Daniel Goldin held the post for the longest term (nearly 10 years), and is best known for pioneering the "faster, better, cheaper" approach to space programs.[4] The only person to hold the post twice is James C. Fletcher, who returned to NASA following the Challenger disaster.[5]

The longest-running (acting) Deputy Administrator was John R. Dailey, who held the post following his retirement from the United States Marine Corps.[6] The longest-running full Deputy Administrator was Hugh Latimer Dryden, who was the first Deputy Administrator.[7] William R. Graham has held the post of Deputy Administrator twice, and was the acting Administrator in between,[8] as did Frederick D. Gregory.[9] Dr. Daniel Mulville served as the acting Deputy Administrator twice, and was acting Administrator in between.[10]

The current Acting Administrator of NASA is Robert M. Lightfoot, Jr..[11] Until January 20, 2017, the Administrator of NASA was Charles Bolden. His nomination was announced on May 24, 2009 by President Barack Obama,[12] and he was formally appointed upon successful confirmation by the United States Senate on July 15, 2009.[13][14][15] He started his position on July 17, 2009.[16] Also until January 20, 2017, Dava Newman was the Deputy Administrator. Her nomination was announced on October 17, 2014.[17]

On September 1, 2017, President Donald Trump nominated Jim Bridenstine to be the next Administrator of NASA.[18]

Administrators[edit]

Status
  Denotes an Acting Administrator of NASA
No. Portrait Name Took Office Left Office Days served President
serving under
1 T. Keith Glennan Dr. T. Keith Glennan August 19, 1958 January 20, 1961 885 Dwight D. Eisenhower
Hugh L. Dryden Dr. Hugh L. Dryden January 21, 1961 February 14, 1961 24 John F. Kennedy
2 James E. Webb James E. Webb February 14, 1961 October 7, 1968 1035
1781
(2816 total)
Lyndon B. Johnson
3 Thomas O. Paine Dr. Thomas O. Paine October 8, 1968 March 21, 1969 104
60 Richard Nixon
March 21, 1969 September 15, 1970 543
(707 total)
- George M. Low Dr. George M. Low September 16, 1970 April 26, 1971 222
4 James C. Fletcher Dr. James C. Fletcher April 27, 1971 May 1, 1977 1200
895 Gerald Ford
101
(2196 total)
Jimmy Carter
- Alan M. Lovelace Dr. Alan M. Lovelace May 2, 1977 June 20, 1977 49
5 Robert A. Frosch Dr. Robert A. Frosch June 21, 1977 January 20, 1981 1309
- Alan M. Lovelace Dr. Alan M. Lovelace January 21, 1981 July 10, 1981 171 Ronald Reagan
6 James M. Beggs James M. Beggs July 10, 1981 December 4, 1985 1608
- William R. Graham Dr. William R. Graham December 4, 1985 May 11, 1986 889
7 James C. Fletcher Dr. James C. Fletcher May 12, 1986 April 8, 1989 984
78
(1062 total)
George H.W. Bush
- Dale D. Myers Dale D. Myers April 8, 1989 May 13, 1989 35
8 Richard H. Truly VAdm (Ret.) Richard H. Truly May 14, 1989 June 30, 1989 47
July 1, 1989 March 31, 1992 1004
(1052 total)
9 Daniel S. Goldin Daniel S. Goldin April 1, 1992 November 17, 2001 294
2922 Bill Clinton
301
(3517 total)
George W. Bush
- Daniel R. Mulville Dr. Daniel R. Mulville November 19, 2001 December 21, 2001 32
10 Sean O'Keefe Sean O'Keefe December 21, 2001 February 11, 2005 1148
- Frederick D. Gregory Col (Ret.) Frederick D. Gregory February 11, 2005 April 14, 2005 62
11 Michael D. Griffin Dr. Michael D. Griffin April 14, 2005 January 20, 2009 1377
- Christopher Scolese Christopher Scolese January 21, 2009 July 16, 2009 176 Barack Obama
12 Charles F. Bolden, Jr. Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Charles F. Bolden, Jr. July 17, 2009 January 20, 2017 2744
- Robert Lightfoot Robert M. Lightfoot, Jr. January 20, 2017 Present 330+ Donald Trump

Deputy Administrators[edit]

Photograph Name Term start Term end Term length Ref(s)
Hugh L. Dryden DrydenDr. Hugh L. Dryden 1958-08-19August 19, 1958 1965-12-02December 2, 1965 26622662 days [19]
Robert C. Seamans (Left) SeamansDr. Robert C. Seamans, Jr. 1965-12-21December 21, 1965 1968-01-05January 5, 1968 0745745 days [19]
Thomas O. Paine PaineDr. Thomas O. Paine 1968-03-25March 25, 1968 1969-03-20March 20, 1969 0360360 days [19]
George M. Low LowDr. George M. Low 1969-12-03December 3, 1969 1976-06-05June 5, 1976 23762376 days [19]
Alan M. Lovelace LovelaceDr. Alan M. Lovelace 1976-07-02July 2, 1976 1981-07-10July 10, 1981 18341834 days [19]
Hans Mark MarkDr. Hans Mark 1981-07-10July 10, 1981 1984-09-01September 1, 1984 11491149 days [19]
William R. Graham GrahamDr. William R. Graham 1985-11-25November 25, 1985 1985-12-04December 4, 1985 00099 days [19]
William R. Graham GrahamDr. William R. Graham 1986-05-11May 11, 1986 1986-10-01October 1, 1986 0143143 days [19]
Dale D. Myers MyersDale D. Myers 1986-10-06October 6, 1986 1989-05-13May 13, 1989 0950950 days [19]
James R. Thompson ThompsonJames R. Thompson, Jr. 1989-07-06July 6, 1989 1991-11-08November 8, 1991 0885885 days [19]
Aaron Cohen CohenAaron Cohen (acting) 1992-02-19February 19, 1992 1992-11-01November 1, 1992 0256256 days [19]
John R. Dailey DaileyJohn R. Dailey (acting) 1992-11-03November 3, 1992 1999-12-31December 31, 1999 31733173 days [19]
Daniel Mulville MulvilleDr. Daniel Mulville (acting) 2000-01-01January 1, 2000 2001-11-19November 19, 2001 0688688 days [19]
Daniel Mulville Mulville2Dr. Daniel Mulville (acting) 2001-12-21December 21, 2001 2002-08-11August 11, 2002 0233233 days [19]
Frederick D. Gregory GregoryFrederick D. Gregory 2002-08-12August 12, 2002 2005-02-20February 20, 2005 0923923 days [19]
Frederick D. Gregory Gregory2Frederick D. Gregory 2005-04-14April 14, 2005 2005-11-04November 4, 2005 0204204 days [19]
Shana Dale DaleShana Dale 2005-11-04November 4, 2005 2009-01-17January 17, 2009 11711171 days [19]
Lori Garver GarverLori Garver 2009-07-16July 17, 2009 2013-09-06September 6, 2013 15121512 days [19]
Dava Newman NewmanDava Newman 2015-05-15May 15, 2015 2017-01-20January 20, 2017 616616 days [19][11]
Lesa Roe Lesa Roe

(Acting)

January 20, 2017 Present 330330+ days [20]

Line of Succession[edit]

The line of succession for the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is as follows:[21]

  1. Deputy Administrator of NASA
  2. Associate Administrator of NASA
    1. Deputy Associate Administrator of NASA (if applicable)
  3. Chief of Staff to the NASA Administrator
  4. Director of Johnson Space Center (Houston, Texas)
  5. Director of Kennedy Space Center (Merritt Island, Florida)
  6. Director of Marshall Space Flight Center (Redstone Arsenal, Alabama)

In the event of there being no Deputy Administrator of NASA, and the Associate Administrator serving as Acting Administrator, then the Deputy Associate Administrator assumes the role of Acting Deputy Administrator.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Biography of Michael D. Griffin, NASA Administrator". NASA. Archived from the original on July 7, 2008. Retrieved July 4, 2008. 
  2. ^ "Biography of Shana Dale, NASA Deputy Administrator". NASA. Archived from the original on May 30, 2008. Retrieved July 4, 2008. 
  3. ^ "T. Keith Glennan biography". NASA. August 4, 2006. Archived from the original on July 8, 2008. Retrieved July 5, 2008. 
  4. ^ "Daniel S. Goldin biography". NASA. March 12, 2004. Archived from the original on June 15, 2008. Retrieved July 5, 2008. 
  5. ^ "James C. Fletcher biography". NASA. Archived from the original on July 6, 2008. Retrieved July 5, 2008. 
  6. ^ "General John Dailey biography". NASA. Archived from the original on July 4, 2008. Retrieved July 5, 2008. 
  7. ^ "Hugh L. Dryden biography". NASA. Archived from the original on July 9, 2008. Retrieved July 5, 2008. 
  8. ^ "William R. Graham biography". NASA. Archived from the original on July 5, 2008. Retrieved July 5, 2008. 
  9. ^ "Frederick D. Gregory". NASA. Archived from the original on July 6, 2008. Retrieved July 5, 2008. 
  10. ^ "Daniel Mulville biography". NASA. Archived from the original on July 5, 2008. Retrieved July 5, 2008. 
  11. ^ a b "Lightfoot to be Acting NASA Administrator, CFO Radzanowski to Stay On - UPDATE". 
  12. ^ "Retired General Picked to Lead NASA". New York Times. May 23, 2009. Retrieved July 14, 2012. 
  13. ^ "NASA – NASA Organization". NASA. Archived from the original on January 18, 2009. Retrieved January 28, 2009. 
  14. ^ "Presidential Appointee Positions Requiring Senate Confirmation and Committees Handling Nominations" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. March 18, 2008. Archived (PDF) from the original on January 24, 2009. Retrieved January 28, 2009. 
  15. ^ "Bolden and Garver Confirmed by U.S. Senate". NASA. July 15, 2009. Archived from the original on October 28, 2009. 
  16. ^ "Charles F. Bolden, Jr., NASA Administrator (July 17, 2009 – present)". NASA. Archived from the original on July 27, 2009. Retrieved July 14, 2012. 
  17. ^ Chandler, David L. (October 17, 2014). "Dava Newman nominated for NASA post" (Press release). MIT News. Retrieved March 26, 2015. 
  18. ^ Giaritelli, Anna. "Trump picks 42 key administration nominees, including heads of NASA and Office of National Drug Control Policy". Washington Examiner. Retrieved 2017-09-02. 
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "List of Administrators and Deputy Administrators of NASA". NASA. Archived from the original on May 21, 2008. Retrieved July 4, 2008. 
  20. ^ Dunbar, Brian (January 8, 2015). "NASA Organization Structure". NASA. Retrieved February 1, 2017. 
  21. ^ "Designation of Officers of the National Aeronautics And Space Administration To Act as Administrator". Federal Register. January 22, 2009. Retrieved October 30, 2016.