NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe announced today the
appointment of U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Thomas Q. Donaldson, V
as the Director, John C. Stennis Space Center (SSC), Miss.,
effective January 5, 2004.

“Admiral Donaldson is an experienced leader and manager,”
Administrator O’Keefe said. “He comes to us with a great
background in communications, propulsion, Earth observation
sciences and remote sensing. Combined with his leadership and
management abilities, honed in the naval service, and his
record in safety and quality assurance, Tom is a great
addition to the One-NASA team.”

Donaldson was the Commander, Naval Meteorology and
Oceanography Command (NMOC), one of the 30 agencies onsite as part of the “federal city” at SSC. He was selected for rear
admiral (lower half) in February 2000 and took command of NMOC
in November 2000. In April 2001, he was designated
Hydrographer of the Navy by the Chief of Naval Operations,
representing U.S. naval interests internationally.

“No stranger to the Stennis community, Tom Donaldson will
bring a fresh perspective to the wide range of tasks at the
Center, from Earth Sciences to rocket testing,” said NASA’s
Associate Administrator, Office of Space Flight William
Readdy. “Tom will be a huge asset for our return to flight
efforts. I am confident he will continue the Stennis legacy
for accurate testing, innovation and aerospace leadership,”
Readdy said.

The deputy director at Stennis, Michael Rudolphi, has been
interim director since May 2003. Rudolphi will move to the
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., where he will
serve as manager of the Space Shuttle Propulsion Office.

“Rudy did a terrific job at Stennis, and he will be a
tremendous addition to the Marshall team. His experience
within NASA, his time as interim director at Stennis, and his
extraordinary leadership during the Columbia recovery effort
in East Texas, will greatly benefit our return to flight
efforts,” Administrator O’Keefe said.

Donaldson graduated in 1975 from the U.S. Naval Academy,
Annapolis, Md. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in
Physical Oceanography and Meteorology from the Naval Academy
and a Master of Science degree in National Strategic Studies
from the National War College, Washington.

His personal awards include two Legions of Merit, three
Meritorious Service Medals and three Navy Commendation Medals. He also received four Meritorious Unit Commendations, which represent exceptional teamwork and effort at two shore
commands and two ship commands.

He is married, and he and his wife, Debbie, have three

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