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For release: 05/19/04
Release #: 04-148  

Birmingham native Stephen Beale honored with Presidential Rank Award for service to NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center

Photo description: Beale

Stephen Beale, director of procurement at NASA's Marshall Center has been awarded a 2003 Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Executives — one of the highest honors for government service work.

Photo: Beale (NASA/MSFC)


Stephen Beale, director of procurement at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., has been awarded a 2003 Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Executives — one of the highest honors for government service work. He was among a group of federal senior executives recently honored in Washington, D.C.

The Presidential Rank Award is a prestigious honor given to a select group of senior federal executives who have provided exceptional service to the American people over an extended period of time. Executives who have demonstrated strength, integrity, industry and commitment to the public trust are nominated for the award by the head of their agency. A panel of private citizens evaluates the candidates, selecting only those who, through their personal conduct and results-oriented leadership, qualify for referral to the President who makes the final designation.

Beale, a Birmingham, Ala., native, has led the Marshall Center's Procurement Office since 1997, overseeing all stages of Marshall's contracting process, including solicitation, evaluation, negotiations, awarding and contract management, both at Marshall and at associated contractor plants. He manages all procurement activities and supervises over 900 active contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements currently valued at over $31 billion. As director, Beale manages 130 civil service and 40 contract employees.

Beale joined the Marshall Center in 1972 as a student in NASA's Cooperative Education program. He has served in positions of increasing responsibility, including as a contracting officer in Marshall's former Research and Development section, the International Space Station Project Office; and the Space Systems Division, which included such projects as the Space Station, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility — which became the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Beale served as deputy director of Marshall's Procurement Office prior to assuming his current position.

A graduate of West End High School in Birmingham, Beale earned his bachelor's degree in finance from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa in 1974, and his master's degree in business administration from Alabama A&M University in Huntsville in 1979. He has completed the program for Senior Executive Fellows at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Mass.

In 1992, Beale was awarded a NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal recognizing his significant, specific contributions to NASA's mission. He was awarded a NASA Silver Snoopy Award in 1981, which honors individuals who have made contributions to the success of human space flight missions.

Beale and his wife, the former Susan Smith, have two children and reside in Huntsville.

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