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Jurczyk Retires as NASA Associate Administrator

Portrait of Steve Jurczyk.

Steve Jurczyk, who served as acting NASA administrator from Jan. 20 to May 3, 2021, announced Monday he will retire on Friday, May 14, after more than three decades of service at NASA.

Jurczyk has served as associate administrator, the agency’s highest-ranking civil servant, since May 2018. He was the highest-ranking career civil servant leading NASA throughout the pandemic and most recently oversaw the successful landing of the Perseverance rover on Mars, a successful Green Run test of the core stage of the Space Launch System rocket, the naming of the Mary W. Jackson NASA Headquarters building, the launch of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 to the International Space Station, and the return of Crew-1 back to Earth.

“Steve has been instrumental to NASA over the past 32 years and has overseen incredible success at the agency in the past three years as associate administrator,” said NASA Administrator Sen. Bill Nelson. “Steve’s inclusive, collaborative, and creative leadership has had an incredible impact on this agency. Steve’s legacy at NASA is one of excellence, and I wish him well in his future endeavors.”

“It has been an honor to lead NASA and see the agency’s incredible growth and transformation throughout my time here,” Jurczyk said. “The NASA workforce is what makes this agency so special, and I’m incredibly grateful for their amazing work, especially throughout the coronavirus pandemic. At NASA, we turn dreams into reality, and make the seemingly impossible possible. I am so fortunate to have been a member of the NASA family.”

Before being named associate administrator, Jurczyk served in a number of leadership roles at the agency, including as associate administrator of the Space Technology Mission Directorate and director and deputy director of NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Jurczyk is the recipient of the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, two Outstanding Leadership Medals, the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Executive in 2006, and the Presidential Rank Award for Distinguished Executive in 2016 – the highest honors attainable for federal government leadership. He also is a 2021 Service to America Medal “Sammies” finalist, one of the highest honors for federal civil servants. Jurczyk has been nominated for a Sammie in the management excellence category for his leadership in response to the coronavirus.

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Marc Etkind
Headquarters, Washington