Kevin McGhaw was recently named the deputy director of the Office of Strategic Analysis and Communications at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

With years of experience engaging elected officials and public stakeholders, Kevin McGhaw was recently named deputy director of the Office of Strategic Analysis and Communications at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

He will help lead an organization of 160 civil service and contractor personnel who provide strategic planning, objective analyses and comprehensive communications to support policy, program and budget decisions for Marshall.

OSAC’s five divisions help Marshall leaders determine the center’s objectives and direction; thoroughly analyze costs and risks; engage with stakeholders; and evaluate the requirements of programs, projects and missions; while informing and educating the public and elected officials about Marshall’s work.

“With my background in legislative relations, I look at OSAC as a perfect vehicle to tell NASA and Marshall’s story,” said McGhaw. “Both the analysis and communications sides of OSAC work well together to communicate Marshall’s projects, capabilities and performance to many different audiences. That’s something I am passionate about — engaging elected officials, employees, external stakeholders and the public, while highlighting the amazing things our team is doing and plans to do.”

But McGhaw didn’t always know that NASA would be the right place for him.

“What NASA does, especially at Marshall, is amazing. But growing up, while I enjoyed learning about space, I never saw myself working in that field,” he said. “I didn’t aspire to be an astronaut. And unlike many people who work at Marshall, I didn’t know I wanted to work for NASA as a kid. It wasn’t until after college, and after some real-world experience, that I realized NASA and Marshall were the perfect place for me.”

McGhaw graduated from Morgan State University in Baltimore in 1996. In the diverse setting of the historically black university, he found his true calling — building relationships while promoting a message.

“You hear the phrase ‘people person,’” he said. “That’s me. And I love that I get to bring that into my work. Getting to know people while telling NASA’s story is a great job and one that I really enjoy.”

As an intern with a national political party organization, McGhaw first realized he could turn his passion into a career. His first experience came while helping a campaign engage African-American voters, and continued as he served as the Southern African-American outreach coordinator for a presidential campaign.

After that successful campaign, McGhaw accepted a Presidential Appointment at NASA Headquarters in Washington. There he engaged elected officials while promoting NASA.

“Engaging people is very important for any campaign, agency, advocacy group, non-profit organization, industry or even business to be successful,” he said. “You’ve got to be innovative and creative in the ways you present your message.”

After his presidential assignment, McGhaw founded a successful consulting company before returning to NASA in 2008 as Marshall’s legislative affairs specialist. Four years later he was named deputy manager of Marshall’s External Affairs Office, and in 2013 was named its manager. The office served as Marshall’s liaison with local, state and federal government officials, industry, civic and community leaders, and other opinion leaders to educate and inform stakeholders of the importance of Marshall programs and projects.

At Marshall, McGhaw again found the opportunity to answer his calling by building relationships while promoting NASA’s message. He and his team told NASA and Marshall’s story by managing relationships with industry partners; supervising Marshall’s visitor programs; coordinating Marshall events and external outreach activities; and creating communications products to enhance the understanding of Marshall’s work.

McGhaw believes NASA’s message is unlike any other in federal government. “NASA’s core issue is exploration. You’re inspiring people — that innate natural desire to want to know what’s beyond what we can see, beyond what we can touch. Mankind naturally desires to explore, and NASA is focused on doing just that. NASA works to expand what we know about ourselves, Earth and what’s beyond — that’s a fun story to tell.”

A graduate of NASA’s LASER Supervisory Development Program, Mid-Level Leadership Program and Marshall’s Leadership Development Series, McGhaw has received the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal and the Silver Achievement Medal for his service to NASA.