Ken Davidian Heading for FAA AST

Sent: Thu Oct 09 13:07:08 2008

Dear members of the ESMD listserv... As many of you have undoubtedly heard by now, I have decided to take a position with the Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST) within the FAA. AST is responsible for issuing licenses and permits to companies like SpaceX who want to launch rockets commercially.

As I understand it, I'll be doing the same sort of activities that I've been doing here (encouraging commercial space activities, helping to develop policy within the agency, etc.) both here and abroad. With the recent successful launch of SpaceX's Falcon 1, and with at least three teams vying to win the Lunar Lander Challenge, AST is really busy trying to keep up with all the commercial space activities going on. Also, the regulatory side of the business is experience that I lack, so I look at this job change as an in-depth training rotation for me. It will provide me a great opportunity to broaden my experience base, hopefully making me more valuable if/when I get an opportunity to come back to NASA.

As you can imagine, I'm really excited about diving head-first into that hive of activity!

At the same time, having had the chance to stand-up Centennial Challenges, and then working on the Commercial Development Policy here within ESMD, and now at the agency level, as well as helping to define the process of soliciting commercial participation in partnership agreements, has been a dream-job for me here with NASA. I've been kept busy, worked with top-notch people, challenged on a daily basis, and been given limitless opportunity to excel. Those are job characteristics you can't find just anywhere, and they are proof that NASA is consistently rated the best government agency in which to work. I will definitely miss working at NASA, probably more than I know.

Going to the FAA will be my first foray into the world of another gov't agency (I'm such a NASA-boy... I'm only months away from getting my 20 year pin with NASA!), but since my first interaction with them back in 2002, I've been impressed with their mission and the people there, as well, so I don't think this is a leap of any great distance. Besides, the AST offices are just a couple of blocks from here, located across the street from the Hirshhorn Museum, so this move is not physically a big one, either!

I'm sending this message now because I wanted to wait until I had confirmation of an official separation date from NASA, and I just received that a couple minutes ago. My last day as a NASA employee will be Oct 25 and my first day as an FAA employee will be Oct 26. (You might see me in the halls on Monday, the 27th, as I go through the check-out process as I will be on travel starting on the 21st through the 26th.)

I want everybody to know that I'm not running away from anything here at NASA, but running toward an office that is smack-dab in the middle of commercial space. If there's one thing I've learned as I've moved from job to job, is that it always boils down to the people. Here at HQ, the people have been great know and great to work with. I want to thank all the bosses I've had (who are still here), including Carl, Gale, Geoff, John (G) and John (O), Doug, Tom, Rick, and everybody else I've had the pleasure and privilege to work with. I don't know when, but I'm sure our paths will meet again soon...


Ken Davidian

P.S. I'm sure I'm forgetting something and someone(s), and I apologize for that. But don't worry, I promise not to send out an addendum! This email is too long already! Ciao!

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on October 9, 2008 4:00 PM.

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