Sumara Thompson-King is the Deputy General Counsel in the Office of the General Counsel at NASA Headquarters. As Deputy General Counsel (DGC), reports to the General Counsel. She supports the mission of the Office of General Counsel which provides functional leadership regarding legal services and issues related to all aspects of NASA activities. Ms. Thompson-King is responsible for oversight of substantive legal advice and assistance provided by the Associate General Counsels agency-wide to the Center Directors through effective interaction with Center Chief Counsels. She provides advice and assistance to Agency senior management as required by, or in the absence of, the General Counsel.
Prior to her appointment Deputy General Counsel, Ms. Thompson-King served as the Associate General Counsel for Contracts, Procurement and Acquisition Integrity Practice Group in the Office of the General Counsel. She provided legal advice and counsel to the NASA Office of Procurement and other Headquarters Offices regarding the statutes, regulations and policies governing Federal Government contracting. Central services provided by the Practice Group also include representing the agency in bid protests and contract-related litigation, and provides legal advice regarding suspected fraud and other related irregularities in the acquisition process. Ms. Thompson-King also provided guidance and advice to the Offices of Chief Counsel at NASA Field Centers regarding contract award, administration and litigation matters; and develops and coordinates NASA legal policy in these areas.
Ms. Thompson-King began her NASA career in 1986, when she joined the Office of Chief Counsel at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. At Goddard, she provided advice on federal acquisitions, tort claims, personnel actions and Freedom of Information Act requests. In 1991, Ms. Thompson-King moved to NASA Headquarters to become a Senior Attorney responsible for litigating protests before the General Services Administration Board of Contract Appeals, and in 1995 she became the Deputy Associate General Counsel (Contracts). Before joining NASA, Ms. Thompson-King was an attorney at the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, Washington, DC, where she enforced Federal accessibility laws and regulations.
Ms. Thompson-King was awarded NASA's Exceptional Achievement Medal in recognition of her litigation accomplishments. She is the recipient of several NASA Group Achievement Awards for her performance in the implementation of innovative projects. Both the Office of Government Ethics and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recognized her contributions to their respective ethics and satellite programs. In 2002, she received a Director’s Commendation for her dedicated service to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Also, Ms. Thompson-King is a frequent panelist and lecturer on government contract issues.
Ms. Thompson-King received an A.B. in Government from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and she earned a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC. Ms. Thompson-King is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar.