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Michael J. Benik
Center Operations

Michael J. Benik is the Director, Center Operations, at NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Fla., providing senior management, direction, and evaluation of base operations and installation management services.

Mr. Benik previously served as the Director of the NASA Independent Program Assessment Office (IPAO) in the Headquarters Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation from 2003 to 2005. There he was responsible for conducting independent program and project reviews and independent cost estimates across all NASA Mission Directorates. Mr. Benik was awarded the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal for revitalizing this office.

Prior to joining the IPAO, he was the Associate Program Manager of the Expendable Launch Vehicle Program at the Kennedy Space Center. Mr. Benik also served as Director of Expendable Launch Vehicle (ELV) Launch Services at the KSC during 1999-2003. In this position he was responsible for the management of the NASA engineering, integration, and safety and flight assurance for all NASA procured launch services.

Mr. Benik began his career with NASA Glenn Research Center (formerly Lewis Research Center) in 1982 as a performance and trajectory analyst in the Space Transportation Engineering Division of the Shuttle/Centaur Program. He held increasingly responsible lead positions and was promoted to Chief of the Space Transportation Analysis Branch in 1991. In this position he was responsible for all performance analysis work for the successfully launched Mars Observer Mission, GOES weather satellites, and the international Solar and Heliospheric Observatory.

In 1994, Mr. Benik was named Chief of the NASA Denver Resident Office and established this new office at the Martin Marietta (now Lockheed Martin) facility in Denver. During four years in Denver, he oversaw the launch vehicle production for the GOES, Terra, Cassini, and TDRS missions.

When NASA's ELV program was consolidated at KSC in 1998, Mr. Benik moved to Florida to establish the Engineering Division in the new ELV Launch Services Directorate. He received NASA's Outstanding Leadership Medal for his ability to build this critical capability at KSC by attracting a highly capable team of engineers from Glenn Research Center, Goddard Space Flight Center, Marshall Space Flight Center, KSC and the private sector.

Mr. Benik graduated from Cleveland State University in 1979 with an M.S. in Physics and from the Florida Institute of Technology in 1977 with a B.S. in Physics. He served in the Peace Corps in Togo, West Africa, from 1980-82.

March 2006

Biographies - Current Employees