Dava Newman's Nomination Scheduled for Committee Action Next Week

Dava Newman's Nomination Scheduled for Committee Action Next Week

The nomination of MIT professor Dava Newman to be Deputy Administrator of NASA is on the agenda of the Senate Commerce Committee’s executive session next week.   The committee did not hold a hearing on her nomination,a signal that there is no strong opposition to it.

The committee will mark up five bills and three nominations, including Newman’s.  The agenda posted on the committee’s website notes that  “all bills under consideration enjoy bipartisan support.”

The three top political positions at NASA — Administrator, Deputy Administrator and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) — are subject to Senate confirmation.   Administrator Bolden was confirmed in July 2009.    CFO David Radzanowski’s nomination went directly to the Senate floor with no action by the committee, and was approved by the Senate in September 2014.

Newman was originally nominated by President Obama in October 2014 and the nomination was resent to the Senate at the beginning of this Congress.   She is a Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems at MIT and perhaps best known for her work designing spacesuits for use on the surface of Mars.  She is also director of MIT’s Technology and Policy Program, Director of the MIT Portugal Program, co-director of the Man-Vehicle Laboratory at MIT, and a Harvard-MIT Health, Sciences and Technology faculty member.

 MIT Professor Dava Newman.   Photo Credit:  MIT

If confirmed, she would be the third woman to serve in that position, succeeding Shana Dale and Lori Garver.   The position has been vacant since Garver left in September 2013.

The Senate committee’s executive session is scheduled for 2:30 pm ET on March 25, 2015.

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