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Official portrait of Benjamin Neumann at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC on Wednesday, May 6, 2015.

Benjy Neumann

Director of the Human Spaceflight Capabilities Division for Space Operations

Benjy Neumann joined NASA in 1991 and currently is the director for the Human Spaceflight Capabilities Division in the Space Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. He is responsible for such capabilities as rocket testing, astronaut and flight crew members’ health and safety, as well as research to enable human health and performance in future human exploration missions. Furthermore, Neumann oversees astronaut aircraft operations based at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston and the facility operations at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.

His previous assignments include:

  • Director for the Advanced Capabilities Division with responsibility for managing the Exploration Technology Development and the Human Research programs as well as fundamental life and physical sciences research efforts for NASA’s space exploration initiative.
  • Deputy Director for the Advanced Capabilities Division and lead program executive for the Lunar Precursor Robotics Program – overseeing the successful design, fabrication, test, and launch of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite spaceflight missions – NASA’s first return to the Moon since the Apollo program.
  • Director of NASA’s Innovative Partnerships Program, a position responsible for management of NASA’s Technology Commercialization Program and Small Business Innovation Research Program.
  • Manager for communications and outreach for Aerospace Research, where he led the development of the agency’s Aeronautics Blueprint, a Vision for the Second Century of Aviation. Neumann was also responsible for managing the relations between NASA and the U.S. aviation industry. During this same period, he served as the executive secretary for the Aerospace Technology Advisory Committee.
  • Director of the agency’s Inventions and Contributions Board Staff Office.
  • Program manager for NASA’s Subsonic Aerodynamic Research and Technology programs including the basic research portfolio at NASA’s four research centers.
  • Program manager for the aerodynamic and community noise elements of NASA’s High-Speed Research Program.

For most of 1994, Neumann was detailed to the Department of Commerce, where he worked on the staff of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Technology with a primary focus on Civilian Industrial Technology.

Prior to joining NASA, he worked as an aerospace engineer for the Department of the Navy. He spent eight years at the David Taylor Research Center before moving over to the Naval Air Systems Command in 1989.

Neumann graduated from the University of Michigan in 1981 with a Master of Science degree in aerospace engineering. In 1987, he received a second Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering, also from the University of Michigan.