David A. Samuels
Chief Counsel David A. Samuels has served as Chief Counsel of NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center (formerly Dryden) in Edwards, CA, since August 2000. He is the senior attorney and legal counsel for the Center director and heads the Center's five-person legal office. Samuels also serves as NASA Deputy Ethics Official, Center Export Control Counsel, legal adviser for several boards, committees, and councils, and is responsible for all legal matters involving or affecting NASA Armstrong. In addition, he is a member of the NASA Legal Leadership Team comprised of the Agency's attorney leaders, established to set legal policy and improve the quality of legal services.
Prior to joining NASA Dryden, Samuels served for more than 11 years as an Attorney-Adviser at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. In that position, he handled a broad range of legal issues and matters in both general and government contract law.
A former commander in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps, Samuels served as a military lawyer on active duty from 1983-1989 and then in the naval reserve in a variety of increasingly responsible positions. From 1984-1986, he was a defense trial counsel at the Naval Legal Services Office in Philadelphia, representing enlisted members and officers in criminal cases at more than 60 courts-martial and 40 administrative disciplinary hearings. During this period, he also served as the Navy's sole claims officer for the five-state area encompassing New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, and Delaware, and liaison to the U.S. Department of Justice for all related civil litigation.
Samuels provided legal advice and counsel as the Assistant Staff Judge Advocate for the flag officer of the Philadelphia Naval Base from 1986-1987. From 1987-1989, he served as Staff Judge Advocate for the Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, CT, the largest U.S. submarine base and a major shore command housing more than 50 tenant activities and 43,000 people.
Samuels received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA, in 1978 and a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Ohio Northern University, Ada, OH, in 1982. He is a member of the Ohio State Bar, Senior Executive Service and numerous other professional associations. He has received many awards and honors during his career, including the NASA Exceptional Service Medal in 2008.