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Lebron 'Reinvigorates' Launch Services Program Safety
Eddie Lebron sitting at his desk.When one of Kennedy Space Center's leaders, Eddie Lebron, received the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal for motivating his colleagues to achieve high levels of excellence, he experienced similar inspiration in return.

Image at left: Lebron works with traditional rockets like the Delta II that loft satellites into Earth orbit or spacecraft to distant planets like Mars. Photo Credit: NASA

"Recognition for the accomplishments is definitely an incentive and catalyst for improvement. It's given me a sense of contribution to the nation's space program," said Lebron, chief of the Launch Services Safety and Mission Assurance Division. "The NASA space program is the ultimate dream for engineers. My career with NASA has been exciting and rewarding. It is fun to do what we do. Watching and contributing to the growth of young talent is rewarding and gives us an indication of NASA’s emerging, strong work force."

The medal is awarded for outstanding leadership which has had a pronounced effect on NASA’s technical or administrative programs. Lebron manages and enables the independent mission assurance, quality, safety and reliability that the Safety and Mission Assurance Directorate provides to the NASA Launch Services Program and related spacecraft customers. He also develops different approaches to satisfy the directorate’s requirements and functions recommended by the Columbia Accident Investigation Board.

Lebron strives to bring a new dimension to the division's functions, resulting in efficient work and significant independent flight readiness assessments supporting expendable launch vehicles.

"These independent assessments were a critical component in determining residual risk associated with launch vehicle flight readiness, thereby enabling the directorate and the Office of Safety and Mission Assurance management to execute their Certification of Flight Readiness responsibilities," he explained. "These accomplishments are credited to the strong team of dedicated professionals within the division, and competent and dedicated individuals of the Launch Services Program."

In Lebron's award recommendation, Center Director Jim Kennedy said: "Under Mr. Lebron's guidance, the quality program pertaining to expendable launch vehicles has been reinvigorated and now includes a defined strategy and approach to ensure that the Launch Services Program and its spacecraft stakeholders and customers receive a high-quality launch vehicle that maximizes mission success and assurance. As a result of his efforts and inspiration, the division's personnel have become a unified team, working together to achieve the highest standard of safety and mission assurance."

Lebron previously served as chief of the Joint Performance Management Office and chief of integration within the Institutional Office. Before joining NASA, he worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Air Force. He balances out his life by spending time with his wife, Yamilette, and adult children Eddie, Zahyra and Vanessa.

Jennifer Wolfinger
NASA's John F. Kennedy Spaced Center