NASA Names New Chief Scientist to Guide Science Programs

This undated NASA photo shows Waleed Abdalati, the agency's new chief scientists appointed by NASA chief Charles Bolden. (Image credit: Goddard Space Flight Center)

WASHINGTON ? NASA Administrator CharlesBolden named Waleed Abdalati to serve as chief scientist at agency headquartershere effective Jan. 3, where he will serve as principal adviser to theadministrator on agency science programs and strategic planning andinvestments, according to a Dec. 13 NASA news release.

In his new post, Abdalati, who currentlyserves as director of the Earth Science and Observation Center at theUniversity of Colorado at Boulder, will ensure NASA?sscience programs align with White House science objectives.

A polar ice researcher who served in variouspositions at NASA between 1998 and 2008, Abdalati was previously head of theCryospheric Sciences Branch at the agency?s Goddard Space Flight Center inGreenbelt, Md.

Inhis new role, he will work closely with the White House Office of Scienceand Technology Policy and Office of Management and Budget, according to therelease.

?We are excited to have Waleed return to theagency during such a critical transition period,? Bolden stated in the release.?His experience, wide-range of scientific knowledge and familiarity with NASAwill greatly benefit the agency. He will be a true advocate for our many anddiverse science and researchand exploration programs.?

Abdalati will report directlyto Bolden and oversee a staff of about five, NASA spokesman Michael Cabbagesaid Dec. 13.

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Contributing Writer

Amy Svitak is a writer for Space Intel Report, covering the global space industry. Her older work can also be found in Aviation Week & Space Technology, where she covered European space and defense news, as well as in Space News, where her articles tracked the development of regulations on the up-and-coming commercial space sector, among other topics.