Personnel News: November 2008 Archives

NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale's Blog: Last Entry - November 26,2008

"This will be my last entry on this blog as I prepare to transition out of NASA in January 2009. When people, regardless of where they live around the world, find out that I work at NASA, their eyes light up. It is a tribute to this great Agency! People around the world hold NASA in the highest regard. And they should. This is a special place with exciting missions that push the frontiers of human knowledge, and it's filled with people that love the work they do and are completely committed to America's space program."

Michael Griffin Chats About NASA's Future Under President Obama, Discovery Space

"In past years, we've had too many examples where that wasn't the case. The Bush administration did not mandate even one person that I had to have to fill out the NASA management team, so I was able to pick a good team and that's absolutely essential for any agency. We can't pick people to run a space agency based on politics and I won't be party to that either."

Editor's note: C'mon Mike. Everyone knows that all government agencies get political hires shoved down their throats. For you to try and suggest that your tenure at NASA is an exception to this practice is silly. What about Paul Morrell?, Joe Davis?, Dave Mould?, Patrick Rhode? Jane Cherry? George Deutsch? Ellen Engelman Conners? And so on.

Top Scientist Rails Against Hirings, Washington Post

"The president of the nation's largest general science organization yesterday sharply criticized recent cases of Bush administration political appointees gaining permanent federal jobs with responsibility for making or administering scientific policies, saying the result would be "to leave wreckage behind."

Administration Moves to Protect Key Appointees, Washington Post

"Just weeks before leaving office, the Interior Department's top lawyer has shifted half a dozen key deputies -- including two former political appointees who have been involved in controversial environmental decisions -- into senior civil service posts."

The Burrowing of the Bushies, Washington Post

"It happens every time a president leaves office: Some of his political appointees don't want to go, so they "burrow in" to the civil service."

Editor's note: Now NASA's Chief Information Officer (CIO) position is open at NASA HQ. But hurry up folks - once again it looks like NASA wants to slip this crucially important position under the Transition Team's nose in stealth mode between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The position is open 20 Nov - 4 Dec. That's 5 working days (2 already gone) and then 2 days for a weekend before Thanksgiving. 1 day is lost on Thanksgiving itself, another lost on the Friday afterwards and then 2 more on the weekend. That leaves 4 days before the position closes at COB 4 Dec 2008.

In reality, only 9 working days are being offered by NASA to announce and then gather applications for one of the more critical positions for an agency poised on the cusp of 21st century innovation and exploration in an ever more networked world.

We've all been wondering when Jonathan Pettus would gather up things to bring with him and engineer his return to MSFC (where critical agency IT systems have no back up power supplies).

Given the critical responsibilities of this position (below), wouldn't it be exercising plain old common sense to allow the incoming Obama team to make this selection? Mike Griffin does not seem to think so. Indeed, to allow such a critical position to be filled in this hectic manner is simply irresponsible on Mike Griffin's part.

Editor's note: There is an opening for a Information Technology Specialist in the Architecture and Infrastructure Division of the Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) at NASA HQ. The open period extends from 14-28 November 2008 - i.e. only two weeks. This seems to be a little odd: picking such a position in the midst of a presidential administration transition - with the Thanksgiving Day holiday in the middle of the open period. One would think that such a permanent position would allow a wider range off applicants to apply and do so over a longer period of time - one not overlapping a major national holiday when many people take long periods off. Moreover, given the ongoing transition, and the responsibilities this person would have across the entire agency (see below) wouldn't it be better to allow the new NASA management team to fill this position - or decide to handle these tasks differently? Hmm ... on the other hand .. could it be that someone at NASA is looking for a place to "burrow" in from a political to a career position?


The duties of this position include, but are not limited to:

Breaking NASA's Glass Ceiling

America's Best Leaders: Fiona Harrison & Maria Zuber, NASA scientists, US News & World Report

"Maria Zuber noticed something strange on her first NASA mission. As a geophysicist in the 1980s, she was working on the science team designing the Mars Observer, an unmanned spacecraft that was supposed to be the first to study the geoscience and climate of Mars. "Somebody called me up," she recalls, "and said, 'Do you know on this mission there are 87 science investigators, and you're the only woman?'"

Gene Goldman Named as Director of NASA Stennis Space Center

"NASA has named Arthur E. (Gene) Goldman as the new director of NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. The promotion of Goldman, the center's deputy director since October 2006, is effective immediately. He replaces Bob Cabana, who left in October to become the director of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida."

Axel Roth

Editor's note: Internal NASA MSFC message: "Axel Roth, who served as Marshall Center associate director before retiring in 2004, passed away Nov. 12. Visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14, at Laughlin Funeral Home in Huntsville. Funeral services will be held from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 15, at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Huntsville (on Bailey Cove Rd in SE Huntsville)."

Keith Sefton

Internal memo: Keith Sefton's Memorial Arrangements

"Keith's life will be celebrated with a Memorial service to be held at the Marine Corps Base Quantico Chapel at 1300 (1 PM) on Friday, November 14th. At the conclusion of the service, a good old "Irish wake" will be held at an appropriate location near the chapel. All are welcome. Keith will be interned at Arlington Memorial Ceremony next spring."

NASA Mourns the Loss of Deputy General Counsel Keith T. Sefton

"Keith was known by his call sign, "Words," both for his prodigious talent as a writer and his ability to get right to the point. If Diogenes were still searching for the "honest man," it would only be because he hadn't yet met Keith. He made everyone better by his presence."

NASA Federal Credit Union Buys Falls Church Bldg.

"Greenbelt, MD-based NASA Federal Credit Union purchased the retail property at 1130 W. Broad St. in Falls Church, VA, from Jackson Building LLC for nearly $2.73 million, or about $545 per square foot."


KSC's Cabana says job cuts are coming no matter what, Orlando Sentinel

"The new director of Kennedy Space Center, Bob Cabana, said thousands of job losses are coming to the center and Brevard County, whether the space shuttle is retired on schedule in 2010 or the next administration gives it a brief reprieve. ... "There are going to be cuts. There's no two ways about it," Cabana told reporters on Friday morning in his first press conference since staring the job earlier in the week. "The space shuttle program is going to end. Even if it gets extended for a little bit, eventually it's going to end. And when it ends there are going to be people out of work."



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This page is an archive of entries in the Personnel News category from November 2008.

Personnel News: October 2008 is the previous archive.

Personnel News: December 2008 is the next archive.

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