NASA today named William (Bill) W. Parsons the new deputy director of the agency’s Kennedy Space Center, Fla., effective in mid-February. Parsons succeeds Dr. Woodrow Whitlow Jr., who was named the director of the Glenn Research Center in Ohio in December.

“Bill’s space operations background, experience and technical expertise, especially within the space shuttle program, along with his proven leadership ability make him the best possible choice as our new deputy center director,” said Jim Kennedy, KSC director. “His background, knowledge and familiarity with KSC will allow him to contribute immediately to our team as we prepare for the next space shuttle mission, continue to process International Space Station hardware, prepare for critical unmanned robotic launches and carry out the first steps of the Vision for Space Exploration in 2006!”

Parsons most recently served as director of NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi since September 2005.

As space shuttle program manager, Parsons led the return-to-flight activities for the agency and played a major role in the recent success of the Discovery STS-114 mission. His first stint as Stennis center director came in August 2002. He was first assigned to Stennis in 1997 as the chief of operations of the Propulsion Test Directorate. Parsons relocated to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston to become the director of the Center Operations Directorate. He later served as the deputy director of Johnson. He returned to Stennis in 2001 and served as director of the Center Operations and Support Directorate.

“I could not be happier to be returning to the Kennedy Space Center for the opportunity to work with such a tremendously talented and dedicated team of individuals,” said Parsons. “I started with NASA at KSC and my family lives on the Space Coast, so it feels like coming home.”

In 1990, Parsons joined the NASA team at Kennedy Space Center as a launch site support manager in the Shuttle Operations Directorate. He also worked as an executive management intern and later as the shuttle flow director of the Shuttle Operations Directorate at KSC. In 1996, he became manager of the Space Station Hardware Integration Office at the center.

Parsons has received numerous honors, including NASA’s Exceptional Service Medal; the Silver Snoopy, awarded by astronauts for outstanding performance in flight safety and mission success; and the Center Directors’ Commendation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Mississippi and a master’s degree in engineering management from the University of Central Florida.

Parsons resides in Merritt Island, Fla., with his wife and two children.