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About the Office of the General Counsel

The Office of the General Counsel provides functional leadership regarding legal services and issues related to all aspects of NASA activities for Center Chief and Patent Counsel and, for Agency-wide issues, the Administrator. These services and issues include establishing and disseminating legal policy and interpreting new statutes and cases. The Office of the General Counsel is also responsible for developing the ethics and patent program requirements, establishing metrics, and developing quality standards.

As a functional office Associate Administrator, the General Counsel serves in an advisory capacity to the Administrator, and works with Enterprise Associate Administrators and Center Directors to ensure that Agency activities are conducted in accordance with all statutory and regulatory requirements.

The Office of the General Counsel also serves as Washington, DC, litigation counsel, provides litigation expertise to the Agency, and acts as the Agency representative before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The Office also provides expert advice, oversight and overflow support to Centers, and provides legal services to all the offices at Headquarters.

The Office of the General Counsel at Headquarters is organized into a front office, one legal program and four legal practice groups:

  • Acquisition Integrity Program — The Acquisition Integrity Program (AIP) has primary responsibility for legal issues regarding procurement fraud and other related irregularities, remedies coordination, and suspension and debarment. The Program is responsible for preventing, detecting, and deterring procurement fraud through education and training of the NASA workforce as well as for supporting the investigation and prosecution of fraud and corruption related to the acquisition process.
  • Commercial & Intellectual Property — This Practice Group has primary responsibility for intellectual property issues in domestic and international agreements, technical data issues, patent and copyright licensing, and the distribution of computer software, as well as non-procurement (Space Act) agreements with commercial and international entities.
  • Contracts & Procurement — This Practice Group has primary responsibility for contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements.
  • General Law — This Practice Group has primary responsibility for areas such as ethics, personnel, fiscal, environmental, and safety and security law, as well as legislation and other areas not specifically assigned to one of the other divisions.
  • International and Space Law — This Practice Group has primary responsibility over legal issues regarding export control, Freedom of Information Act appeals, and general matters of international law.

General Counsel:
Iris Lan

Deputy General Counsel:
Christine Pham (Acting)

Lead, Paralegal Specialist:
Carolyn L. Johnson
Tel: 202-358-2450

Administrative Specialist:
Jeanette Covington
Tel: 202-358-2450

OGC Legal Operations Team:
Bryan Diederich, (Acting) Director of Legal Operations
Tanya Jefferson, Management and Program Analyst
Justyna Ragiel-Smith, Management and Program Analyst

OGC Leadership Directory — Contact Information for the Headquarters Leadership and Center Chief Counsels

OGC Disclaimer: The materials within this website do not constitute legal advice. For details read our disclaimer.