Follow this link to skip to                                      the main content


Text Size

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

Eileen Hawley
Johnson Space Center, Houston
(Phone: 281/483-5111)

October 3, 2005
RELEASE : 05-296
Howell Leaving NASA's Johnson Space Center
Jefferson Davis Howell, Jr., is leaving his position as director of NASA's Johnson Space Center to join the University of Texas, Austin. NASA has initiated a search for a successor, and Howell will stay on until a replacement is named.

"No one has been a more dedicated, supportive, and collegial member of NASA's management team than General Howell, and no one has been a more effective leader of his people," said NASA Administrator Michael Griffin. "Nevertheless, I respect his desire to move on to new challenges, and wish him well in this pursuit. He will be missed."

Howell is a retired U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. He was named Johnson's director April 1, 2002. Prior to joining NASA, he served as senior vice president and program manager for the safety, reliability, and quality assurance contract at Johnson. The contract focused on safety and mission assurance for the shuttle and International Space Station programs.

"I am looking forward to this new role," Howell said. "This is an opportunity for me to challenge these students to develop the skills NASA and the country will need as we continue our journey of exploration. I am pleased to return home to the University of Texas, as I continue to serve the needs of our space program."

Howell graduated from the University of Texas with a bachelor's degree in political science and master of arts in economics.

He is the recipient of several honors including the U.S. Navy Distinguished Service Medal; Defense Superior Service Medal; Legion of Merit; Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V"; Air Medal with two individual and 25 strike/flight awards; and Navy Commendation Medal with Combat "V". In 1980, he received the John Paul Jones Award for Inspirational Leadership from the Navy League of the United States.


- end -

text-only version of this release

NASA press releases and other information are available automatically by sending a blank e-mail message to To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send a blank e-mail message to

Back to NASA Newsroom | Back to NASA Homepage