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Volume 46 | Issue 6 | July 2004


NASA HQ Retools Leadership Structure

In the latest of what will be an ongoing series of announcements related to the restructuring process, Administrator Sean O'Keefe has unveiled a new NASA organizational structure designed to streamline the Agency and position it to better implement the vision for space exploration.

In a report released this month, the President's Commission on Implementation of U.S. Space Exploration Policy found that "NASA needs to transform itself into a leaner, more focused agency by developing an organizational structure that recognizes the need for a more integrated approach to science requirements, management, and implementation of systems development and exploration missions."

"Our task is to align Headquarters and eliminate the 'stove pipes,' promote synergy across the Agency and support the long-term exploration vision in a way that is sustainable and affordable," O'Keefe said. "We need to take these critical steps to streamline the organization and create a structure that affixes clear authority and accountability."

The transformation fundamentally restructures NASA's strategic enterprises into mission directorates to better align with the space exploration initiative. It restructures Headquarters support functions and clarifies organizational roles and responsibilities.

Relationships between Headquarters and NASA field centers also will be redefined through more straightforward lines of responsibility and accountability. Mission-specific associate administrators will be assigned as Headquarters center executives and will have oversight of field center performance in implementing Agency policies and programs. The Associate Administrator for Institutions and Management will address field center infrastructure concerns.