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Kennedy Space Center Director
James Kennedy, Kennedy Space Center Director James Kennedy
Kennedy Space Center

James W. Kennedy is the eighth director of NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC). Prior to this appointment, he served as KSC's Deputy Director and as the Deputy Director of NASA's George C. Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) located in Huntsville, Alabama.

Mr. Kennedy began his career with NASA in 1968 in the Aerospace Engineering Cooperative Education Program at KSC. After earning his Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Auburn University in 1972, he was called to active duty with the U.S. Air Force. In 1977, he received his Masters in Business Administration from Georgia Southern University. Mr. Kennedy's work experience includes serving as Project Manager for major projects, such as the X-34 and the DC-XA. From January to September 1996, he was the Manager for the MSFC Space Shuttle Projects Resident Office at KSC. Mr. Kennedy returned to MSFC when he received a Senior Executive Service (SES) appointment in September 1996 and was named Manager of the Solid Rocket Booster Project. In 1998, he was selected as the Deputy Director of Science and Engineering, where he was responsible for establishing and maintaining a nationally recognized research and development capability in space research and technology. One year later, he became the Director of Engineering, with responsibility for managing world-class research and development capabilities for accomplishing crosscutting engineering functions associated with the engineering design, development, testing, and valuation of assigned projects. In 2002, he was named Deputy Director of MSFC, the Agency's Propulsion Center of Excellence, with responsibility for all facets of Center operations and for the safety and success of mission programs.

Mr. Kennedy has received numerous awards during his NASA career, including the MSFC Leadership Award, NASA's Silver Snoopy Award, Distinguished Service Medal, and a Meritorious Rank Award. He is also the recipient of a Group Achievement Award and several Special Service and Performance Awards. He has been selected to receive the National Space Club's Astronautics Engineer Award for 2003.

Mr. Kennedy was born in Riverdale, Maryland, and currently resides in Cocoa Beach, Florida, with his wife, Bernadette. Mr. Kennedy has two children, Jeff and Jamie.