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Dean Acosta/Bob Jacobs
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-1400/1600)

November 18, 2005
RELEASE : 05-412
NASA's Ralph Thomas Resigns And Returns To Private Practice
Ralph C. Thomas III, NASA's assistant administrator for Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization since 1992, has announced he will be leaving the agency to return to private law practice, effective December 1st.

During his tenure, NASA's total dollars to small businesses grew from $2.5 billion in fiscal year 1992 to a record-breaking $3.65 billion in fiscal year 2004.

Thomas received numerous awards during his NASA career, including the Presidential Rank of Distinguished Executive in 2001. In 2000, he received the Presidential Rank of Meritorious Executive. From 2001-2003, he was elected to two consecutive terms as chairman of the Federal Small Business Directors Interagency Council, an organization consisting of his counterparts in the other federal agencies. From 2002 - 2005 he was elected to the Board of Directors of the Senior Executives Association, an organization representing the interests of senior executives in the federal government.

Thomas is a graduate of Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Mass., and received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley, where he graduated with honors. He is the author of more than 60 published articles on small business issues and has testified before Congress on related issues more than 30 times. In 2004 he was admitted to the Bar of the United States Supreme Court.

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