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Marshall Center's Sheila Cloud to Lead Transition of NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility to Support Exploration Work
Kim Newton
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
(Phone: 256.544.0034)

News Release: 06-142

Sheila Cloud HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – NASA's Sheila Cloud, a Decatur, Ala., native, has been appointed transition director for NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.

The Michoud Assembly Facility, an 832-acre site managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., is responsible for the manufacture and assembly of the space shuttle external tank. The facility also will be responsible for the manufacture of the upper stages of NASA's new Ares I and Ares V launch vehicles. The facility includes one of the world's largest manufacturing plants, with 43 acres under one roof and a port with deep-water access to permit transportation of large space systems and hardware.

As transition director for Michoud, Cloud is responsible for defining and implementing a business model, including defining operational capabilities, revenues and expenses, that will optimize Michoud assets and lower operating costs in support of NASA's near-term and long-term exploration programs and projects.

Cloud will plan and manage the transition from Space Shuttle Program work to operations supporting multiple NASA programs and projects, including NASA's next-generation crew exploration and launch vehicle systems. Additionally, she will define and implement an operating structure and policies for Michoud that align with established NASA and Marshall governance structures, which outline facility processes, roles and responsibilities and ensure the exchange and integration of information between centers supporting NASA's missions.

"This is an exciting opportunity -- to ensure the Michoud Assembly Facility continues its legacy as one of NASA's key assets," Cloud said.

"Michoud has been key to the development of the external tank for the Space Shuttle Program for more than 30 years," she added. "It's a role that has provided the Marshall facility with the proven expertise needed, as we stand poised to support NASA's future exploration goals and missions."

From 2003 to 2006, Cloud was the business integration executive for Marshall's Office of the Deputy Center Director, serving as the authoritative focal point for business management transformation and integration activities supporting Marshall and NASA missions.

From 1997 to 2003, Cloud served as director of Marshall's Center Operations Directorate, overseeing all institutional services including environmental engineering, information systems, logistics, facility maintenance and operations, technical information and operations, protective services, occupational medicine and food services. In 1996, she was named deputy chief financial officer for resources in the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, where she was responsible for overall planning and execution of all Marshall funding.

Cloud was director of institutional operations for the Chief Financial Office at the Marshall Center from 1995 to 1996. She directed an internal operations division within the same office from 1992 to 1995, and served as deputy director of institutional operations for the Chief Financial Office from 1990 to 1992. From 1989 to 1990, Cloud was executive assistant to Marshall's director.

Cloud began her NASA career in 1983 as a participant in the Graduate Cooperative Education program at Marshall. The program allows students to combine academic study with paid career-related work experience, alternating periods of classroom study with work at NASA centers.

Cloud has received numerous honors and awards during her NASA career. In 2001, she was honored with a Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Executive, one of the highest honors for government service work. In 2000, she received a NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, recognizing exceptional dedication and commitment to NASA's highest standards of excellence. In 1997, she received a NASA Exceptional Service Medal, recognizing leadership and outstanding contributions to improve planning and management of NASA resources. She also was honored in 1993 with NASA's Silver Snoopy Award, presented by the Astronaut Corps to honor individuals who have made contributions to the success of human spaceflight missions.

Cloud earned a bachelor's degree in business and retailing from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa in 1970. She received a master's in business administration from Alabama A&M University in Huntsville in 1985.

Cloud and her husband Earl live in Huntsville and have two sons.

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