Kennedy Biographies

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Alan J. Parrish
Former Associate Director

Alan J. Parrish was appointed as the Associate Director at NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center on February 4, 1994. He is responsible for providing a centralized management advisory service to the Center Director, the Deputy Director, and all levels of Center management; and is an advisor on organizational matters, and on the development and implementation of management systems which are basic to the effective operations of the Center institutionally. 

Parrish recently served as the Director of Safety, Reliability and Quality Assurance, reporting to the Center Director. He was responsible for developing and implementing overall SR&QA policy at KSC, and related activities at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Dryden Flight Research Center, and Vandenberg Air Force Base. 

Since joining KSC in 1964 as a television systems engineer, Parrish has held these positions: Director of Safety, Reliability, and Quality Assurance (1990 - 1994); Director, Ground Engineering (1986 - 1990); Director, Information Systems (1986); Chief, Launch Processing System Division (1983 - 1986); Chief, CCMS Branch (1980 - 1983); Chief, LPS Operations and Maintenance Branch (1977 - 1980); Chief, Operational Intercommunication Systems Branch (1969 - 1977); and Chief, Communications System Operations Control Office (1967 - 1969). 

During his career with NASA, he has been the recipient of five Sustained Superior Performance Awards two Superior Achievement Awards, three Group Achievement Awards, the KSC Certificate of Commendation, the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, and two NASA Exceptional Service Medals - one for his work in association with the checkout and launch of the first Space Shuttle and the second for his management of the Ground Engineering Return-to-Flight activities for STS-26R. In 1991, President Bush conferred on Parrish the Rank of Meritorious Executive, as did President Clinton in 1996. 

Prior to joining NASA, he was employed by the Western Electric Company as a Titan I guidance engineer and as a telecommunication systems engineer. 

Born in Adel, Georgia, he was a graduate from Cook High School of Adel in 1952. Following 4 years in the U.S. Navy, he attended Georgia Institute of Technology, receiving his Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree in 1960. He was inducted into the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni in 1996. 

Parrish and his wife, the former Pat Carmichael of Adel, Georgia, live on Merritt Island, Florida. They have four children and six grandchildren.

February 1997

Biographies - Former Employees