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For release: 08-19-04
Release #: 04-219  

Fayetteville, Tenn., native Billie K. Swinford awarded NASA Exceptional Service Medal by Marshall Center

Photo description: (l to r) William Readdy, Associate Administrator of the Space Operations Mission Directorate, Billie K. Swinford, and David King, Marshall Space Flight Center Director

Fayetteville, Tenn., native Billie K. Swinford — manager of the Affirmative Employment and Federal Women's programs at NASA's Marshall Center — has received a NASA Exceptional Service Medal for her outstanding leadership in Marshall's Equal Opportunity Office. She was honored at the recent Marshall Center Honor Awards ceremony.

Photo: Photo description: (l to r) William Readdy, Associate Administrator of the Space Operations Mission Directorate, Billie K. Swinford, and David King, Marshall Space Flight Center Director (NASA/MSFC)


Fayetteville, Tenn., native Billie K. Swinford — manager of the Affirmative Employment and Federal Women's programs at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. — has received a NASA Exceptional Service Medal for her outstanding leadership in Marshall's Equal Opportunity Office. She was honored at the recent Marshall Center Honor Awards ceremony.

The Equal Opportunity Office is responsible for the Marshall Center's comprehensive program to ensure equal opportunity for all civil service and contractor employees, based on merit and fitness and without discrimination. As manager of the Affirmative Employment Program, Swinford leads the effort to promote equal opportunity in the employment, development, advancement and treatment of women and minorities at the Marshall Center. She also manages Marshall's Federal Women's Program, which supports the career development and advancement of women at NASA. As part of the program, Swinford coordinated Marshall's 2004 "Take Our Children to Work Day," which hosted more than 1,000 children.

"It is an honor to be recognized for working in the Equal Opportunity Office at the Marshall Center, managing two great programs," said Swinford. "Working in an organization that encourages the professional growth of employees of all backgrounds makes coming to work each day a rewarding and fulfilling experience."

"Billie's leadership provides our office the ability to reach out and encourage more and more professionals each year," said Willie Love, acting director of Marshall's Equal Opportunity Office. "Her experience and knowledge of the programs are great assets to the Marshall Center and the entire agency."

Swinford joined NASA at the Marshall Center in 1964. She started her career in Marshall's Quality & Reliability Assurance Laboratory, later moving into positions of increasing responsibility in the Spacelab Program Office and the Office of the Associate Director of Science. In 1998 she was presented with NASA's Silver Snoopy Award, recognizing individuals who have made contributions to the success of human space flight missions, and a Director's Commendation in 1990 as the Marshall Center's Outstanding Woman Achiever of the Year.

Swinford graduated from Central High School in Fayetteville. She received her bachelor's degree in business administration in 2002 from Athens State University in Athens, Ala. She was named to the 2001 edition of Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, which lists outstanding students based on academic achievement, university and community service, leadership in extracurricular activities and potential for continued success.

Swinford and her husband Larry live in Fayetteville.

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