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Human Resources Officer: Stephen Jensen

Stephen C. Jensen

Armstrong Director for Research and Engineering

Stephen C. Jensen is the director for Research and Engineering at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California. Appointed to this position in February 2022, he is responsible for the technical and administrative management of the Research and Engineering Directorate’s engineering workforce. The directorate is responsible for design, development, analysis, and testing of research and experimental aerospace systems in the Aerodynamics, Propulsion, Structures, Avionics, and Flight Instrumentation discipline areas, as well as leading the Systems Engineering and Integration efforts for the center’s flight projects and programs.


Jensen was the associate director for Strategy at NASA Armstrong from March 2021 to February 2022, when he led the direction, creation, and integration of strategic plans to advance the center’s primary-assigned mission of advancing technology and science through flight.

Previously, Jensen was the director for California Human Resources and chief human capital officer at NASA Armstrong. He managed the newly formed California Human Resources Office, which partners with Armstrong and NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California, to provide and develop strategic human capital solutions and programs. He was responsible for providing the full range of services that include planning, developing, and coordinating human resources programs for the two centers.

Jensen served as the deputy director for Research and Engineering from 2015 to 2018 at NASA Armstrong, providing leadership over the center’s engineering and research activities.

He served on a detail at NASA Headquarters in Washington from 2017 to 2018 where he was the deputy assistant administrator for Hiring. Jensen led efforts to modernize NASA’s talent acquisition functions, including a detailed assessment of replacing the agency’s hiring tools for recruiting, staffing, classification, and onboarding at NASA Headquarters with a new, modern, cloud-based commercial off-the-shelf platform.

Prior to his detail, from 2014 to 2015, Jensen was the chief of the Vehicle Integration and Test Branch (now Flight Instrumentation and Systems Integration Branch), which he established. He provided expertise in airborne systems, system integration, and test and aircraft instrumentation for numerous NASA projects.

He became the program chief engineer for Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) in 2008 and provided technical leadership for the program by working with partners from foreign nations, NASA centers, and geographically diverse contractor teams.

From 1998 to 2008, Jensen was chief of the Flight Systems Branch and chief engineer for numerous projects such as the Ikhana unmanned aircraft, X-37, X-38, and X-43 projects. He also was on a source evaluation board for the Crew Exploration Vehicle and the principal investigator for electrically powered actuators and flight systems engineer for the F/A-18B Systems Research Aircraft.

Education and Honors

Jensen earned a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering in 1989 and a master’s degree in aerospace engineering in 1993, both from the University of California, Los Angeles. He has received numerous honors, including an Agency Outstanding Leadership Medal and an Exceptional Achievement Medal.