Brian Welch

Headquarters, Washington, DC
(Phone: 202/358-1600)

RELEASE: 00-21

NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin announced today that
the Agency would merge the Chief Technologist’s office with
the Office of Aero-Space Technology to better focus the
Agency’s strategy for maintaining its long-term technology

Chief Technologist Samuel Venneri will retain that
position while becoming Associate Administrator for Aero-
Space Technology. He will succeed Lt. Gen. Spence (Sam)
Armstrong, USAF (Ret.), who will become Senior Advisor to the

“Gen. Armstrong will be instrumental in leading the
Agency’s transition from operations to cutting edge research
and development,” said Goldin. “Gen. Armstrong led the
revitalization of the Aerospace Technology Enterprise, and it
is with great enthusiasm that I have asked him to take on
this new assignment.”

Armstrong will spearhead a new initiative that will
allow the Agency to create new synergies with universities,
industry and other scientific and technical agencies. He will
work with academia and industry — both aerospace and non-
aerospace — to identify new opportunities for NASA
partnerships. He will also coordinate NASA’s plans with the
Department of Defense, Federal Aviation Administration and
other agencies to ensure that NASA’s activities are
integrated with other agencies’ and that NASA establishes
government-wide partnerships where appropriate.

Goldin also announced the following personnel

* W. Brian Keegan has been appointed Chief Engineer

* Orlando Figueroa has been appointed Deputy Chief Engineer
for Systems Engineering

* Dr. Mary Cleave has been appointed Deputy Associate
Administrator (Advanced Planning) for the Office of Earth

In the combined position, Venneri will be the
Administrator’s principal advisor on Agency-wide technology
issues. Under Venneri, the Office of Aero-Space Technology
will be charged with developing integrated, long-term,
innovative Agency-level technology for aeronautics and space.
Venneri will also be responsible for developing new
partnerships that exploit technology breakthroughs, and for
establishing and maintaining technology core competencies at
the NASA Centers.

Venneri has been NASA’s Chief Technologist since
November 1996. Venneri started his NASA career in 1981 as a
Program Manager in the Materials and Structures Division.
Before being named Chief Technologist, Mr. Venneri served as
Director of the Spacecraft Systems Division in the former
Office of Space Access and Technology.

Armstrong, who has headed the Office of Aero-Space
Technology since May 1998, was previously Associate
Administrator for Human Resources and Education. He was
responsible for developing NASA’s human resources strategic
plan and for furthering NASA’s emphasis on national education

Armstrong retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1990 after
34 years of service. His last assignment with the Air Force
was Vice Commander, U.S. Air Force Systems Command,
consisting of over 53,000 personnel, 15 research
laboratories, six weapons systems acquisition divisions and
numerous test ranges and facilities.

Keegan comes to NASA Headquarters from the Goddard Space
Flight Center, where he has been the Director of Applied
Engineering and Technology since 1997. He succeeds Daniel R.
Mulville, who recently accepted the position of Associate
Deputy Administrator.

The Chief Engineer reports directly to the Administrator
and is responsible for overall review of the technical
readiness and execution of all NASA programs. The Chief
Engineer also provides an integrated focus for Agency-wide
engineering policies, standards, and practices.

As a Goddard employee, Keegan directed a broad spectrum
of engineering activity, ranging from technology development
to the design, development and testing for flight projects
such as the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission and the
Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Missions.

In the newly created position of Deputy Chief Engineer
for Systems Engineering, Figueroa will be the senior official
responsible for focusing and defining the agency1s system
engineering capabilities. Figueroa will benchmark other
systems engineering organizations and develop plans for
continuous improvement in NASA systems engineering.

Since 1997, Figueroa has been the Goddard Space Flight
Center’s Director of Systems, Technology and Advanced
Concepts where he was responsible for providing systems
engineering expertise and leadership for the development of
space flight mission
systems and advanced concepts. He joined NASA’s Goddard Space
Flight Center in 1978 after graduating from the University of
Puerto Rico.

In her new position, Dr. Cleave will be work with other
government agencies and the scientific community to shape the
next generation Earth Science program. Her primary
responsibility will be developing the Earth Science
Enterprise’s advanced science, technology and applications
plans and priorities. She came to NASA Headquarters from the
Goddard Space Flight Center to be the Earth Science
Representative to the Chief Scientist. At Goddard she worked
in the Laboratory for Hydrospheric Processes and served as
the Project Manager for the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view
Sensor. Previously, Dr. Cleave was a NASA astronaut, flying
aboard two Space Shuttle missions, in 1985 and 1989.

Full biographies of these appointees are online at these