The U.S. Senate late Thursday confirmed Frederick D.
Gregory as NASA Deputy Administrator. Gregory, a veteran
Space Shuttle commander who previously served as the
Associate Administrator for Space Flight, is set to become
the agency’s first African-American deputy.

The Senate will now send the confirmation back to the White
House for the President’s signature. Gregory must be sworn
into office before he assumes his new position.

“I couldn’t be happier for Fred. His considerable experience
as an astronaut and aviator, and his leadership in space
flight safety are needed at this critical time for the
agency,” said NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe. “This is a
busy time for the U.S. Senate and I’m delighted Fred’s
nomination was given brisk consideration. I appreciate the
efforts of Senator Fritz Hollings and Senator Ron Wyden, both
of whom acted in NASA’s best interest in expeditiously
guiding Fred’s nomination through the confirmation process.”

It’s the first time in more than a decade that the Deputy
Administrator position has been filled. Gregory will serve as
the chief operating officer for the agency and report
directly to Administrator O’Keefe. He will be responsible for
directing and managing many of the programs as well as the
day-to-day operations and activities at NASA.

Before being named Associate Administrator for Space Flight
in December 2001, Gregory served as Associate Administrator
for Safety and Mission Assurance and was charged with the
oversight of all safety issues within NASA. He developed,
implemented and managed quality assurance policies that dealt
with reliability and maintainability.

“This is an incredible opportunity,” Gregory said after
hearing of the Senate’s vote. “I appreciate the President’s
confidence and I’m thankful for the Senate’s speedy
consideration. We have a lot of work to do and I’m confident
we’ll be able to continue NASA’s historic legacy of

As a NASA astronaut, Gregory logged more than 455 hours in
space during three Space Shuttle missions. In 1985, he served
as pilot on board Challenger during STS-51B. Gregory was
mission commander for STS-33 in 1989 and STS-44 in 1991.

Gregory was selected as an astronaut in 1978, after a
distinguished career with the U.S. Air Force. He logged
nearly 7,000 hours in 50 types of aircraft, including 550
combat missions over Vietnam. He retired as a Colonel in
December 1993.

Gregory has been awarded the Legion of Merit Defense Superior
Service Medal, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Defense
Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, 16
Air Medals, The Air Force Commendation Medal and three NASA
Space Flight medals.

His honors also include the NASA Distinguished Service Medal,
the NASA Outstanding Leadership Award, the National Society
of Black Engineers Distinguished National Scientist Award,
the George Washington University Distinguished Alumni Award
and an “Ira Eaker Fellow” by the Air Force Association.

Additional information about Gregory is available on the
Internet at: