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Gilbrech Recognized For Distinguished Executive Service at White House Ceremony

NASA Stennis Space Center Director Rick Gilbrech
Credits: NASA/SSC

NASA Stennis Space Center Director Rick Gilbrech was recognized during a White House ceremony Dec. 15 as recipient of a prestigious 2015 Presidential Rank Award for Distinguished Executive Service.

Gilbrech joined other award recipients at the “Unlocking the Full Potential of America’s Federal Workplace” gathering, focused on attracting, developing and retaining the talent needed to continue moving the federal government forward.

The event was part of a presidential initiative to build the federal workforce needed to drive greater government efficiency and effectiveness. As part of highlighting progress toward that goal, the gathering honored public servants with a range of awards.

Gilbrech received his Presidential Rank Award for “key contributions to the nation’s space Space Shuttle and Space Launch System programs.”

The Presidential Rank Awards Program was established in 1978 to recognize select members of the Senior Executive Service for exceptional performance over an extended period of time. The award features two categories – distinguished rank recipients and meritorious rank recipient. Distinguished rank recipients are recognized for sustained extraordinary accomplishment. Only 1 percent of the career Senior Executive Service employees may receive this rank.

Gilbrech has served as director at Stennis Space Center since September 2012, his second stint as leader of the south Mississippi site. He began his NASA career in 1991 at Stennis in the area of propulsion test technology. He served in a number of positions at the site, as well as in positions at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Texas and Langley Research Center in Virginia.

After being named Stennis director in 2006, Gilbrech became associate administrator for NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at Headquarters in 2007. He left NASA in 2008 to work in industry and returned to Stennis as associate director in 2009 before being named deputy director in 2010 and director in 2012.

Gilbrech is the recipient of numerous awards, including NASA’s prestigious Outstanding Leadership and Exceptional Achievement, and Equal Employment Opportunity Medals.

For more about the 2015 Presidential Rank Awards, visit:

For information about Stennis Space Center, visit:

Valerie Buckingham
Stennis Space Center