|Rick Arbuthnot is recognized for his Human Resources (HR) leadership and is known for the cutting edge initiatives he accomplished while managing the NASA civil service Human Resources Program at the Kennedy Space Center. He has Project Control responsibility for the $187 million dollar annual compensation budget, which includes funds for salaries, training and development, and awards. He is recognized for his efforts in management, policy development, training, succession planning, workforce planning and skills analysis, accession strategy, and initiation of knowledge management tools. Since 1999, Rick has been in a key leadership role overseeing all aspects of HR for approximately 1,800 highly trained engineers, administrative professionals and technicians who oversee the Nation's primary space launch center and its large supporting contractor workforce of approximately 12,000 employees.
Rick is credited with introducing major initiatives at KSC and across the Agency such as the Competency Management System, Executive Succession Planning, and Manage to Budget. He is also recognized for his leadership in organizational design. In addition to numerous performance and team awards, Rick has been awarded both the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal (1996) and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal (2001) for his innovative efforts in HR reform throughout the Agency. He also received the Vice-Presidential Hammer Award twice for work associated with the NASA Education Initiative and for his noteworthy accomplishments in establishing the Federal Welfare-to-Work Hiring Initiative during his tenure at the Stennis Space Center. Rick was selected into the NASA Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program in 1998, and was promoted to the Federal Senior Executive Service in 1999.
Rick is a graduate of Kansas State University with a Master's degree in Public Administration (1985), and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science (1981) from Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska. Upon graduation, he was appointed by the Reagan Administration as a Presidential Management Intern with NASA at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, where he served as a Personnel Management Specialist, then as a Special Assistant for Legislative Affairs to the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). In 1990 he became the NASA Liaison to U.S. Senator Robert Byrd, then Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. The following year, Rick was assigned as Executive Officer to the Associate Administrator for Human Resources and Education at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Upon completion of this assignment, Rick became the Director of Human Resources at Stennis Space Center in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. In 1999, he was invited to join the Kennedy Space Center as
Director of Administration, where he was asked to chair KSC 2000, a major organizational restructure. This endeavor built upon his strong organizational structure and design background and his earlier work managing full-scale reorganizations at both Stennis Space Center and NASA Headquarters.
Rick is married to the former Alicia MacFarland and they have a 6-year old daughter, Avery, and a 2-year old son, Christopher. He and his family live in Winter Springs, Florida.