Mary Kicza. Credit: SpaceNews/Lance Marburger

WASHINGTON — Mary Kicza, the head of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s satellite division, is retiring from federal service in July. Her last day in the office will be in mid-June, NOAA said in a statement.

Kicza became assistant administrator for NOAA’s Silver Spring, Md.-based Satellite and Information Services division in 2007 following a two-year stint as deputy. NOAA’s statement said Mark Paese, currently Kicza’s deputy, will replace her on an acting basis.

Paese worked for Booz Allen Hamilton and Westinghouse Electric Corp., both here, before joining NOAA by way of the National Weather Service, where he was director of operational systems.

Kicza spent most of her more than three decades in government at NASA, where she held numerous senior positions including associate administrator for biological and physics research and associate director of the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

“After decades of federal service, Mary leaves some big shoes to fill at our satellite service but I’m confident our NESDIS team is up to the challenge,” NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan said April 2 in a prepared statement.


Brian Berger is editor in chief of and the SpaceNews magazine. He joined in 1998, spending his first decade with the publication covering NASA. His reporting on the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia accident was...