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

September 13, 2005
RELEASE : 05-260
NASA Names New Stennis Center Director
NASA named William (Bill) W. Parsons as the new director of NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center in south Mississippi, effective immediately. Parsons succeeds retired Rear Admiral Thomas Donaldson, USN. Parsons returns to the position he held prior to becoming Space Shuttle program manager in May 2003.

As Space Shuttle Program Manager, Parsons led the Return to Flight activities for the agency and played a major role in the recent success of the Discovery STS-114 mission. His first stint as Stennis center director came in August 2002. He was first assigned to Stennis in 1997 as the chief of operations of the Propulsion Test Directorate. Parsons relocated to NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, to become the director of the Center Operations Directorate. He later served as the deputy director of Johnson. He returned to Stennis in 2001 and served as director of the Center Operations and Support Directorate.

Parsons has received numerous honors, including NASA's Exceptional Service Medal; the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement; the Silver Snoopy, awarded by astronauts for outstanding performance in flight safety and mission success; the Center Directors' Commendation; and the Commandants Certificate of Commendation from the U.S. Marine Corps.

He holds a bachelor's degree in engineering from the University of Mississippi and a master's degree in engineering management from the University of Central Florida.

Donaldson is on a special assignment to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help with recovery efforts in Mississippi. Deputy Shuttle Program Manager Wayne Hale is acting Space Shuttle program manager.

For more information about NASA, the Space Shuttle program and space flight on the Internet, visit:


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