Dr. Daniel M. Schumacher, manager of the Science and Technology Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., has been honored with an award for exceptional technical achievement by the Air, Space and Missile Defense Association, or ASMDA.
The 2013 Space and Missile Service Excellence Award-Government was presented to Schumacher Jan. 7, during the association's annual luncheon. Founded in Huntsville in 1995, the ASMDA is a non-profit, educational and scientific organization which promotes the importance to national security of air, space and missile defense systems.
"I'm honored and very grateful to be recognized by the community with this important award," Schumacher said. "We achieve unprecedented things at Marshall by leveraging relationships with our partners, thereby maximizing everyone's potential for success."
The honor recognizes Schumacher for the broad range of ground-breaking space science and technology work he has managed at the Marshall Center since assuming leadership of the Science and Technology Office in 2010. Among the highlights: oversight of the Chandra X-ray Observatory, flown to space in 1999 and still the world's most powerful X-ray telescope; cryogenic testing for NASA's next-generation James Webb Space Telescope, set to launch in 2018 to study some of the oldest formations in the cosmos; Earth-monitoring systems that private critical environmental data and intelligence to stakeholders around the world, from the U.S. National Weather Service to far-flung third-world communities; and NASA's Centennial Challenges program, providing prize money to non-government entrepreneurs and inventors competing to deliver revolutionary aviation and spaceflight technologies that could rewrite the way Americans travel and explore in the 21st century.
Schumacher also was honored for creating and enhancing valuable partnerships within and outside NASA, incorporating industry, academia and government to maximize opportunities for shared advances in creation of new technologies or advanced scientific research.
More About Schumacher
As manager of the Marshall Center's Science & Technology Office and its previous incarnation, the Science & Mission Systems Office, Schumacher has primary management responsibility for day-to-day operations of the vital organization and its portfolio of more than 50 programs and projects. Under his leadership, the office develops, operates and executes NASA science and technology projects and activities to expand scientific understanding of Earth and the universe, and to create the innovative new space technologies that will drive exploration, science and our nation's economic future.
He was appointed in 2008 to the Senior Executive Service, the personnel system covering top managerial positions in federal agencies. From 2008 to 2010, he was director of Marshall's Office of Strategic Analysis & Communications, leading the center’s organization for strategic decision-making and internal and external communications.
From 2007 to 2008, Schumacher was deputy project manager of the Lunar Lander Project Office at Marshall. He managed the Exploration Flight Projects Office from 2006 to 2007, leading work on the Orion crew exploration vehicle. He accepted a one-year assignment to NASA Headquarters in Washington in 2005, serving as the NASA chief engineer's representative on the Nunn-McCurdy congressional review of the National Polar-Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System. His NASA career began in 2001 in Marshall's Second Generation Launch Vehicle Program Office.
Schumacher started his professional career in 1989 as an engineer with the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. He then spent his early career in Huntsville, as a systems engineer on the Theater High Altitude Area Defense Project, a key element of current U.S. missile defense systems. He later was an engineer for XonTech Inc., a commercial science and technology firm in Van Nuys, Calif., and in the Program Executive Office for Missile Defense in Huntsville before joining NASA.
A native of San Antonio, Texas, Schumacher earned a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering in 1989 from Texas A&M University in College Station. He received his master's degree and doctorate in engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, in 1990 and 2005, respectively.
During his career, he has received numerous awards, including a NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal in 2011 for significant contributions to NASA's mission; an Achievement Medal for Civilian Service in 1998, presented by the Department of the Army for superior service benefiting the U.S. Armed Forces; and several NASA group achievement and service awards. He has completed management and leadership courses at Georgetown University in Washington and the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, N.C. He completed the Harvard Senior Executive Fellows Program in May 2008.
Schumacher, his wife Julie and their two children live in Madison, Ala.
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