Veteran television journalist and crisis-management expert Morrie Goodman assumes the top public affairs post at NASA Oct. 26, according to agency officials. Goodman previously worked as a consultant to federal and state government agencies, writing crisis-communication plans for the U.S. Defense and Homeland Security departments and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). As FEMA spokesman under the administration of former U.S. President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1998, Goodman handled media affairs during some of the country’s worst disasters, including the 1994 Northridge earthquake that caused more than $20 billion worth of damage to the Los Angeles area, the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and for the National Transportation Safety Board during its investigation of the 1996 explosion of TWA Flight 800 over the Atlantic Ocean.

Goodman also served as U.S. Commerce Department press secretary from 1998 to 2001, where he worked on trade relations with China. Goodman spent 17 years as a television journalist, including a stint at CNN where he was the senior producer on site at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida during the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger accident.