WASHINGTON - Lisa J. Porter, NASA's associate administrator of the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, announced Wednesday her decision to leave the agency, effective Feb. 1. Porter is leaving NASA to become the first director of the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity.
NASA Administrator Michael Griffin expressed his appreciation for Porter's service since she was selected to head the aeronautics directorate in October 2005.
"Lisa Porter is the best of the best that NASA and this nation can offer," Griffin said. "In the course of a 37-year career in the aerospace profession, I have served with no finer person. We will find a successor, but not a replacement, for her at our agency. She will be a key contributor to our nation's community of intelligence professionals in her new position, and I wish her well."
In announcing her decision, Porter thanked her colleagues for their support.
"While I am very excited about this new opportunity, I am of course saddened by the thought of having to say goodbye to each of you," Porter said. "I am confident that you will all continue to excel and make the nation and the world stand up and take notice of the first 'A' in 'NASA.'"
As the associate administrator for the Aeronautics Mission Directorate, Porter managed the agency's aeronautics research portfolio and guided its strategic direction, which includes research in the fundamental aeronautics of flight, aviation safety and the nation's airspace system.
Porter co-chairs the National Science & Technology Council's Aeronautics, Science and Technology Subcommittee. Comprised of federal departments and agencies that fund aeronautics-related research, the subcommittee wrote the nation's first presidential policy for aeronautics research and development.
Porter came to NASA following her service as a senior scientist in the Advanced Technology Office of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. While there, she created and managed programs in diverse technical areas ranging from fundamental scientific research to multi-disciplinary systems-level development and integration efforts.
Porter has a bachelor's degree in nuclear engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a doctorate in applied physics from Stanford University. She was a lecturer and postdoctoral research associate at MIT. She received the Alpha Nu Sigma MIT Student Chapter Outstanding Teaching Award in 1996. Porter has authored more than 25 publications in a broad range of technical disciplines, including nuclear engineering, solar physics, plasma physics, computational materials modeling, explosives detection and vibration control of flexible structures.
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