Suggested Searches

3 min read

NASA Names First Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer

Credit: NASA

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson on Monday named David Salvagnini as the agency’s new chief artificial intelligence (AI) officer, effective immediately. The role is an expansion of Salvagnini’s current role as chief data officer.

A wide variety of AI tools are used by NASA to benefit humanity from supporting missions and research projects across the agency, analyzing data to reveal trends and patterns, and developing systems capable of supporting spacecraft and aircraft autonomously. 

“Artificial intelligence has been safely used at NASA for decades, and as this technology expands, it can accelerate the pace of discovery,” said Nelson. “It’s important that we remain at the forefront of advancement and responsible use. In this new role, David will lead NASA’s efforts to guide our agency’s responsible use of AI in the cosmos and on Earth to benefit all humanity.”  

This appointment is in accordance with President Biden’s Executive Order on the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence. Salvagnini now is responsible for aligning the strategic vision and planning for AI usage across NASA. He serves as a champion for AI innovation, supporting the development and risk management of tools, platforms, and training. 

In his expanded capacity, Salvagnini will continue NASA’s collaboration with other government agencies, academic institutions, industry partners, and other experts to ensure the agency is on the cutting edge of AI technology.

Salvagnini joined NASA in June 2023 after more than 20 years working in technology leadership in the intelligence community. Prior to his role at NASA, he served the Office of the Director of National Intelligence as director of the architecture and integration group and chief architect. 

Salvagnini also worked in a variety of roles leading enterprise level IT research and development, engineering, and operations advancing data, IT, and artificial intelligence programs. David served in the Air Force for 21 years, retiring in May 2005 as a communications and computer systems officer.

NASA continues developing recommendations on leveraging emerging AI technology to best serve our goals and missions, from sifting through Earth science imagery to identifying areas of interest, to searching for data on planets outside our solar system from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, scheduling communications from the Perseverance Mars rover through the Deep Space Network, and more.

Prior to Salvagnini’s appointment, the agency’s Chief Scientist Kate Calvin served as NASA’s acting responsible AI official.

Learn more about artificial intelligence at NASA at:


Faith McKie / Jennifer Dooren
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1600 /