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Past Goddard Center Directors

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Past Goddard Center Directors

Portrait of Robert D. "Rob" Strain

Rob Strain, Director 2008 - 2012

Robert Strain became Goddard's center director on Aug. 4, 2008. Prior to joining NASA, Strain was the head of the Space Department at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, Md. Strain left NASA in 2012.


Portrait of Dr. Edward J. Weiler

Dr. Edward J. Weiler, Director 2004 - 2008

Dr. Edward J. Weiler joined NASA Headquarters in 1978 as a staff scientist. He served as the Chief Scientist for the Hubble Space Telescope from 1979 until 1998. He served as the Associate Administrator for NASA's Space Science Enterprise since 1998 until his appointment as Goddard Center Director in 2004. Dr. Weiler was named associate administrator of the Science Missions Directorate at NASA Headquarters on May 7, 2008.


Portrait of Alphonse V. Diaz

Alphonso V. Diaz, Director 1998 - 2004

Mr. Diaz began his career at NASA in 1964. He became NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's (GSFC) Deputy Director in 1996, and was appointed GSFC's Director in 1998. In 2005 Mr. Diaz, then Associate Administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, was selected as Hispanic Engineer of the Year by the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corporation (HENAAC).


Portrait of Joseph H. Rothenberg

Joseph H. Rothenberg, Director 1995 - 1998

Mr. Rothenberg joined NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in 1983 as the Hubble Space Telescope operations manager. From 1995 until 1998 he served as director of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. He retired from NASA in 2001 as the associate administrator for Space Flight, having been responsible for the Space Shuttle, Space Station and all of NASA's Space Operations and Space Communications programs.


Portrait of Dr. John Klineberg

Dr. John M. Klineberg, Director 1990 - 1995

Dr. Klineberg spent 25 years with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in a variety of management positions. During his career at NASA, he was director of the Goddard Space Flight Center, director of the Lewis Research Center and Deputy Associate Administrator for Aeronautics and Space Technology at NASA headquarters.


Portrait of Dr. John W. Townsend, Jr.

Dr. John W. Townsend, Director 1987 - 1990

Dr. Townsend was working for the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and became one of NASA's earliest employees when it was formed in 1958. After a distinguished federal career, he left in 1977. He returned to NASA as Goddard Center Director in June of 1987 to help out in the post-Challenger recovery period and worked until his retirement. Dr. Townsend passed away in 2011.


Portrait of Dr. Noel W. Hinners

Dr. Noel W. Hinners, Director 1982 - 1987

Dr. Hinners came to NASA Headquarters in 1972 as the deputy director of lunar programs in the Office of Space Science. From 1982 to 1987, he served as director of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. After leaving NASA he continued working within the Space Industry. He retired in January 2002 from Lockheed Martin Astronautics.


Portrait of Dr. A. Thomas Young

A. Thomas Young, Director 1979 - 1982

Mr. Young served as Goddard Center Director from 1980 to 1982. During a 12-year career with NASA, he also served as Deputy Director of the Ames Research Center, Director of the Planetary Program in the Office of Space Science at NASA Headquarters, and as Mission Director of the Project Viking Mars landing program at Langley.


Portrait of Dr. Robert S. Cooper

Dr. Robert S. Cooper, Director 1976 - 1979

Dr. Cooper spent a lifetime in the service of academia, government and industry. In 1975, Dr. Cooper became director of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, where he served until 1979. After NASA, Dr. Cooper served as assistant secretary of defense and director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency during the Reagan administration's Star Wars initiative from 1981 to 1985. Dr. Cooper passed away on July 2, 2007.


Portrait of Dr. John F. Clark

Dr. John F. Clark, Director 1965 - 1976

Dr. Clark served as Goddard Director during the Apollo era from 1965 to 1976. During this period GSFC managed the Manned Space Flight Network (MSFN) and Communications Network (NASCOM) in support of the Apollo program. Dr. Clark passed away in November 2012.


Portrait of Harry J. Goett

Dr. Harry J. Goett, Director 1959 - 1965

Dr. Harry J. Goett, was the Goddard Center's first director, 1959-1965. When Goett was named as Director of the new facility, it was still under construction. During his tenure as Director, some 35 Goddard satellite projects, carrying over 100 scientific experiments, were successfully placed into orbit. Dr. Goett passed away in January 2000.


Page Last Updated: April 22nd, 2014
Page Editor: Rob Garner