Christopher J. Scolese, Director of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Christopher J. Scolese is the director of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Scolese assumed this post on March 5, 2012. He previously served as NASA associate administrator at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Scolese was NASA's Associate Administrator, the agency's highest-ranking civil servant position. In that position, he was responsible for the oversight and integration of NASA's programmatic and technical efforts to ensure the successful accomplishment of the agency’s overall mission.
From Jan. 20, 2009, until July 2009, Scolese served as NASA's acting administrator where he was responsible for leading the development, design and implementation of the nation’s civil space program. As such, Scolese provided overall leadership for NASA's multiple field installations, worked closely with the Executive and Legislative branches to ensure that NASA was supporting appropriate national policy, and led an international collaboration in carrying out high-profile space missions including the Space Shuttle, the International Space Station, the Hubble Space Telescope, and a multitude of other scientific and technological efforts.
Previously, Scolese served as NASA's Chief Engineer. In that position, he was responsible for ensuring that development efforts and mission operations within the Agency were planned and conducted on a sound engineering basis, as well as for the long-term health of the NASA engineering workforce.
Formerly, Scolese was the Deputy Director of the Goddard Space Flight Center where he assisted the Director in overseeing all activities. He also served as the Deputy Associate Administrator in the Office of Space Science at NASA Headquarters. In this position, he was responsible for the management, direction and oversight of NASA's Space Science Flight Program, mission studies, technology development and overall contract management of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Scolese also served as the Earth Orbiting Satellite (EOS) Program Manager and the Deputy Director of Flight Programs and Projects for Earth Science at Goddard. In these positions, he was responsible for the operation and development of all Earth Science missions assigned to Goddard. While there, he also served as the EOS Terra Project Manager. In addition, Mr. Scolese was the EOS Systems Manager responsible for the EOS system architecture and the integration of all facets of the project. During his tenure at Goddard, he chaired the EOS Blue Team that re-scoped the EOS Program; he supported the EOS investigators in the development of the EOS payloads in the restructured EOS; and he has been responsible for the adoption of common data system architecture on EOS and some other earth orbiting spacecraft.
Prior to his 1987 appointment at Goddard, his experience included work in industry and government. While a senior analyst at the General Research Corporation of McLean, Va., he participated in several SDIO programs. He was selected by Admiral Hyman Rickover to serve at Naval Reactors where he was associated with the development of instrumentation, instrument systems and multi-processor systems for the U.S. Navy and the DOE while working for NAVSEA.
Scolese is the recipient of several honors including the Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Executive, the NASA Distinguished Leadership Medal; Goddard Outstanding Leadership, two NASA Outstanding Leadership Medals and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) National Capital Section Young Engineer/Scientist of the Year award. He was recognized as one of the outstanding young men in America in 1986, was a member of college honor societies including Eta Kappa Nu and Tau Beta Pi, and was recipient of the 1973 Calspan Aeronautics award. He is a Fellow of the AIAA and a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He also served as a member of the AIAA Astrodynamics Technical Committee and chaired the National Capitol Section Guidance Navigation and Control Technical Committee.