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For release: 05/23/03
Release #: H03-181


David A. King named Marshall Space Flight Center Director

Photo description: David A. King

David A. King has been named the new director for the Marshall Center. King is currently Marshall's deputy director and will succeed Art Stephenson when Stephenson steps down June 15.

Photo: David A. King to become next director of Marshall Center. (NASA/MSFC)


NASA Associate Administrator for Space Flight William F. Readdy today named David A. King as the new center director for the Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala. King is currently Marshall's deputy director and will succeed Art Stephenson when Stephenson steps down June 15.

King, whose NASA career began in 1983, has held the number two position at Marshall since November 2002. In that capacity, he assisted the center director in managing a broad range of propulsion, space science and materials research and development work contributing to the nation's space program.

"Dave's closeness to the people and programs at Marshall make him a natural selection," Readdy said. "His ability to make critical decisions under challenging circumstances, comprehensive knowledge of Space Shuttle systems, and his demonstrated leadership qualities are vital as we move forward with our 'Return to Flight' efforts."

King has also played a key role in NASA's Shuttle recovery operations in Lufkin, Texas, beginning earlier this year. He was dispatched to Lufkin within hours of the accident and immediately began serving as the senior on-site NASA official, directing efforts to search for clues and recover debris from the Feb. 1 accident.

He was instrumental in creating the critical initial work processes; establishing effective working relationships among numerous federal and state government agencies; and laying the foundation for the two subsequent NASA officials who would share responsibility for leading an effective recovery from the mishap.

"There was no blueprint on how to manage a recovery effort of this magnitude. Dave's devotion and determination, and his ability to manage thousands of people across multiple diciplines was significant in the success of the debris recovery process," added NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe. "He's committed to the safety and success of the Space Shuttle program, and I know his colleagues at Marshall are as pleased as I am about his selection."

Prior to serving assigned as deputy director at Marshall, King was director of Shuttle processing at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., where he managed and coordinated all Space Shuttle processing and launch operations, overseeing the work of approximately 5,400 civil service and contractor employees.

He coordinated all pre-launch preparations, as well as Shuttle landing operations. As the senior member of the Shuttle launch team during the 3-day countdown process, King ultimately made the final determination to launch.

King began his NASA career in 1983 as a main propulsion system engineer. He later served as flow director for the Space Shuttle Discovery and then as the acting deputy director of the Installation Operations Directorate. He was appointed deputy director of Shuttle Processing in 1996, launch director in 1997, and director of Shuttle Processing in 1999.

In addition to those duties, King reassumed the responsibilities as Shuttle launch director from July 1999 until the position was filled in August 2000. He served as launch director for six Space Shuttle launches, including missions to the Mir space station, the International Space Station, and a repair mission to the Hubble Space Telescope.

The Marshall Center is one of NASA's largest field installations, with more than 6,500 civil service and contract employees and an annual budget of $2.3 billion.

Additional information about NASA and the Marshall Space Flight Center is available on the Internet at:

http://www.nasa.gov

http://www.msfc.nasa.gov/BIOS/kingda.html

http://www.msfc.nasa.gov


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