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Jim Roberts
(Phone: 757/864-8150)

RELEASE: 04-030

May 14, 2004


Leonard R. McMaster has been selected to receive the Presidential Rank of Meritorious Executive.

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McMaster, who serves as Director of the Atmospheric Sciences Competency at NASA’s Langley Research Center, was among 27 NASA executives recognized by President George W. Bush for their outstanding leadership, accomplishments and service to the federal government.

"This is a great honor," McMaster said. "As Isaac Newton said, 'It is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.' The atmospheric scientists at Langley are unparalleled in their dedication and are making truly significant contributions to improving our understanding of the Earth’s atmosphere and its impact on climate change."

Kay Coles James, director of the Office of Personnel Management, called the Presidential Rank Award recipients exemplary leaders who achieve great results and demonstrate a strong commitment to the call of public service. "At this critical juncture in our nation’s history, the American people demand and deserve only the most qualified leaders to work on their behalf," she said. "They are examples of the best and brightest the federal government has to offer."

McMaster began working at NASA Langley after earning a bachelor's degree in physics from the College of William and Mary in 1967. His early research included work on several space programs, including Pioneer 11 and 12, and many atmospheric science programs. He also earned a juris doctorate from William and Mary’s Marshall-Wythe School of Law in 1976.

McMaster went on to serve as deputy manager of the Tropospheric Air Quality Program at NASA Headquarters in 1982. He returned to NASA Langley in 1983 and served as assistant head of the Aerosol Research Branch. From 1990 to 1999, he served as assistant chief of the Aerospace Electronic Systems Division. He was appointed Chief of that division in 1999 and, shortly thereafter, was named Director of the Atmospheric Sciences Competency.

In addition to the work he does for NASA, McMaster is a member of the Virginia Bar Association and is a licensed, instrument-rated private pilot. He also has taught physics for York County High School’s International Baccalaureate Program.

For more information on the Presidential Rank Awards, visit:



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