Waleed Abdalati, who served as the first NASA chief scientist since 2005, departed NASA at the end of 2012 to return to the faculty of the University of Colorado in Boulder. Abdalati's service at NASA was possible through a two-year intergovernmental personnel agreement with the university.
Abdalati served as the principal science advisor to Administrator Bolden and other agency leadership on NASA-related science matters. In this role he was also an advocate on matters of agency science policy, programs and achievements.
“Waleed leaves us an incredibly effective and well respected organization and for that, I am eternally grateful,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. “NASA Science continues to awe the world, and Waleed’s contributions toward this vital national priority these past years have been essential.”
During his tenure, Abdalati established an agency-wide Science Council, a science innovation program, and NASA’s Framework on Scientific Integrity. These efforts were designed to integrate and promote innovation across NASA’s entire science enterprise, and elevate the visibility of the agency’s science capabilities both internally and externally. Over the past two years, he represented the agency’s science interests at the White House and before Congress, and has spoken to over 100 public audiences around the world.
Gale Allen, associate chief scientist for Life and Microgravity Sciences, will serve as acting NASA chief scientist until a successor is named. Allen joined the Office of the Chief Scientist in 2011 from the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) at Headquarters, where she was director of Strategic Integration and Management. Before joining ESMD, Allen was deputy for Bioastronautics in the Office of Biological and Physical Research.