Pérez-Davis New Head of Glenn Research Center

Pérez-Davis New Head of Glenn Research Center

NASA announced today that Marla Pérez-Davis has been appointed Director of Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. With her appointment, and that of Dennis Andrucyk to head Goddard Space Flight Center, all the NASA centers now have permanent leaders.

Marla Pérez-Davis, Director, Glenn Research Center. Credit: NASA

Pérez-Davis was the Deputy Center Director at Glenn and has been serving as Acting Director since October when Janet Kavandi left to join Sierra Nevada Corporation.

She has worked at Glenn since 1983, rising through the ranks to become Chief of the Electrochemistry Branch, chief of the Project Liaison and Integration Office, Director of the Aeronautics Research Office, and Deputy Director of the Research and Engineering Directorate. A native of Puerto Rico, she earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Puerto Rico, a master’s of science from the University of Toledo, and a doctorate in chemical engineering from Case Western Reserve University.

Her appointment, along with Andrucyk’s at Goddard, were officially announced today in a memo to NASA employees.  In addition, the memo revealed that Jane Datta became NASA’s new Chief Human Capital Officer on January 5.  She had been Acting in that position since December 16, prior to which she was Director of NASA’s Workforce Policy, Planning and Analysis Division.

NASA has nine civil service field centers around the country plus the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA.  JPL is a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) operated for NASA by the California Institute of Technology, not a field center like the others, although it is common to hear that NASA has 10 centers.

Since April 2018 when Jim Bridenstine became Administrator, the leaders of half of those centers have retired or otherwise left the agency. Except for Goddard, they were replaced by their deputies.  Goddard’s deputy, George Morrow, himself retired.  NASA then turned to Andrucyk, Deputy Associate Administrator of the Science Mission Directorate at Headquarters, to take the job. He spent much of his 31-year NASA career at Goddard.

In chronological order:

  • Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL:  Jody Singer succeeded Todd May
  • Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX: Mark Geyer succeeded Ellen Ochoa
  • Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA:  Clayton Turner succeeded David Bowles
  • Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD:  Dennis Andrucyk succeeded Chris Scolese
  • Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH: Marla Pérez-Davis succeeded Janet Kavandi

Still in place are:

  • Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA: Eugene Tu
  • Armstrong Flight Research Center, Palmdale, CA: David McBride
  • JPL, Pasadena, CA: Michael Watkins
  • Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, FL:  Bob Cabana
  • Stennis Space Center, Bay St. Louis, MS: Rick Gilbrech


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