Dava Newman starts work as NASA’s deputy administrator
Dava Newman began her official duties as NASA’s new deputy administrator on Monday, May 18, at the agency’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. The deputy administrator position has been vacant since Lori Garver left NASA in September 2013. Newman was nominated by President Obama in January, confirmed by the Senate in April, and sworn in on Friday, May 15.
“I have known and admired Dava for several decades,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “Her talents and skills as an educator and technological innovator will bring a new energy to our NASA leadership team, and I’m ecstatic to have her on board.”
Newman is responsible to the NASA administrator for providing leadership, planning, and policy direction for the agency. Newman will perform duties delegated by the administrator and act for him in his absence. Newman is also responsible for representing NASA to the Office of the President, Congress, heads of government agencies and international organizations, and articulating the agency’s vision.
“I’m very excited to be at NASA,” Newman said. “I’m looking forward to being a part of the agency’s work to expand humanity’s reach into space, advance our journey to Mars and strengthen America’s leadership here at home.”
Before joining NASA, Newman was the Apollo Program Professor of Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge. Her expertise is in the multidisciplinary field of aerospace biomedical engineering. Newman is probably best known for her role in the development of the MIT BioSuit, an experimental skintight spacesuit that offers improved mobility and decreased mass in comparison to conventional gas-pressurized space suits.
Video courtesy of NASA
Jim Sharkey is a lab assistant, writer and general science enthusiast who grew up in Enid, Oklahoma, the hometown of Skylab and Shuttle astronaut Owen K. Garriott. As a young Star Trek fan he participated in the letter-writing campaign which resulted in the space shuttle prototype being named Enterprise.
While his academic studies have ranged from psychology and archaeology to biology, he has never lost his passion for space exploration. Jim began blogging about science, science fiction and futurism in 2004.
Jim resides in the San Francisco Bay area and has attended NASA Socials for the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover landing and the NASA LADEE lunar orbiter launch.