NASA announced today Richard S. Christiansen is the new
Deputy Director for the agency’s Glenn Research Center (GRC),
Cleveland, effective Nov. 16. Christiansen has been the NASA
Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC) Associate Director for
Planning since January 2001.

“Rich will be a terrific addition to the Glenn management
team,” said Fred Gregory, NASA’s Deputy Administrator. “He
will help us sharpen the cutting edge of technology,
strengthen old alliances and develop new ones. He is a highly
qualified NASA veteran familiar, with our many research
projects, management and resource allocation,” Gregory added.

Dr. Julian Earls, Director, Glenn Research Center, said, “I
am thrilled Rich agreed to come to GRC, and I look forward to
a close working relationship with him. His reputation,
experience, and strong technical and management background
will enhance our microgravity, propulsion, communications and
technology research and development programs.”

Prior to his assignment to DFRC, Christiansen served as
NASA’s Aerospace Technology Enterprise director of programs
from Oct. 11, 1998 to June 30, 2000. He was responsible for
strategic management of all Enterprise programs, planned and
conducted for national and agency goals in aeronautics and
space transportation. He has served as a division director or
program manager in several organizations since his arrival at
NASA Headquarters in 1986. From 1997 to 1998, he served as
acting associate administrator of the Aeronautics and Space
Transportation Technology Enterprise, for which he received
the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal in 1999.

“I have worked with many people at Glenn in the past with
great success, so I am truly excited about working with all
the Glenn team. I am eager to hear all their ideas and to
work with Julian to incorporate them into our overall
mission. I expect to spend a lot of time out of the office
talking to people and building good relationships,”
Christiansen said.

Christiansen’s past experiences will assist him in his new
role. He has extensive NASA headquarters and field center
program-management experience in the formulation, advocacy
and assessment of basic and focused research and technology
programs. He has worked on programs spanning the gamut of
research and development from fundamental materials research
to flight demonstrations of advanced systems. His experience
covers the entire aerospace flight regime from low-speed
general aviation to reusable launch systems for low-cost
access to space.

In 1980, he worked for NASA’s Ames Research Center and was
responsible for conducting systems analysis and large-scale
aerodynamic and propulsion wind-tunnel tests of subsonic
vertical or short take-off and landing concepts. In 1985,
Christiansen went to NASA Headquarters on a developmental
assignment as program manager for the United States and
United Kingdom advanced short take-off and vertical landing
program and several flight research programs.

He began his aerospace career in 1978 with General Dynamics,
while in his senior year at California State Polytechnic
University in Pomona, Calif. While there, he conducted wind
tunnel tests and analysis on various missile designs for the
U.S. Navy. Following graduation, he was a part-time lecturer
for aerospace engineering classes at Cal Poly.

Since becoming a member of the Senior Executive Service in
1994, he earned the Presidential Rank of Meritorious
Executive in 1998 and again in 2003 for his sustained
superior accomplishments in program management.

Christiansen earned a Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace
engineering in 1979 from California State Polytechnic
University and a Master of Science degree in aeronautics and
astronautics in 1985 from Stanford University.

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