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Michael Tanner
Aura Program Executive
NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

Mike Tanner is the Associate Director, Program Planning and Development Division in the Office of Earth Science. He serves as the Program Executive of the Aura Project and the Program Director of the Earth System Science Program. He is directly responsible for providing overall guidance, direction and oversight for the development of the Aura project, Aquarius project, HYDROS project, and the Orbiting Carbon Observatory project. Tanner develops, oversees and evaluates these complex Earth Science missions during the formulation and implementation phases. He also provides policy and programmatic guidance, and serves as the point of contact for domestic and international partnering organizations. He serves as a strategic mission architect working with the science, operational and applications organizations to develop strategies and policies designed to maximize the integration of the requirements and implementation efforts. Tanner analyzes proposed missions and future systems and justifies the scope, content and direction of the program to NASA management, Office of Management, Congress, Office of Science and Technology Policy and the NASA Centers.

Tanner served 15 years in the Air Force before joining NASA where his responsibilities spanned all aspects of program management and technical support of numerous key operational projects. His primary duties have included government and industry leadership roles in both commercial and defense projects. Tanner’s technical expertise entails a broad range of aerospace engineering talents including space and ground system architecture planning, operations concept definition, strategic planning and financial analysis, acquisition strategy development, proposal evaluation, technical analysis, flight operations, risk management, satellite operations, launch systems integration, spacecraft attitude control, and system integration and test.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Notre Dame and a Masters Degree in Research and Development Engineering Management. His current memberships include AIAA, National Space Foundation, and the United States Soccer Federation.

Tanner grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana where he received a special blend of Cajun culture wrapped in his Mexican heritage. He is a nationally certified soccer referee and coach participating in the Olympic Development Program. He is also a Lector at St Bernadette’s Catholic Church and is a black belt in Shotokan Karate.

Tanner and his wife, Cindy, have two teenage sons, a dog and three cats.

NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center