William H. Gerstenmaier selected to lead NASA Space Operations

Event Date: August 12, 2005

Administrator Michael Griffin announced that William H. Gerstenmaier BSAAE ’77 will serve as associate administrator for the Space Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters.

Since June 2002, Gerstenmaier has been program manager of the International Space Station Office at Johnson Space Center.

As associate administrator for Space Operations, Gerstenmaier directs NASA's human exploration of space. He also has programmatic oversight for the International Space Station, Space Shuttle, Space Communications and Space Launch Vehicles.

Gerstenmaier began his NASA career in 1977 at the Glenn Research Center in Cleveland performing aeronautical research and was involved with wind tunnel tests on the Space Shuttle. In 1980, he joined the Space Shuttle program as propulsion flight controller, and in 1992 Gerstenmaier got his first managerial assignment for the Orbital Maneuvering Vehicle project at JSC.

In 1990, he led the Space Shuttle/Space Station Freedom Assembly Operations Office responsible for resolving technical assembly issues and developing assembly strategies for what would eventually become the International Space Station.

Gerstenmaier was selected in 1995 to be the operations lead in Moscow for the first phase of the Shuttle-Mir program, serving as primary interface to the Russian Space Agency for operational issues between the Space Shuttle program and Russia's Mir space station. He also was responsible for daily activities and the health and safety of NASA astronauts on Mir.

In 1998, Gerstenmaier was named Space Shuttle program integration manager. In December 2000, he was selected as deputy manager of the International Space Station program, where he was responsible for day-to-day operations. Selected in 2002 as manager of the International Space Station program, Gerstenmaier was responsible for the overall management, development, integration and operation of the project, including the design, manufacture, testing and delivery of complex spaceflight hardware and software, and working directly with the program's international partners.

Gerstenmaier received a bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering from Purdue University in 1977 and a master's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Toledo, Ohio, in 1981. In 1993, he completed course work at Purdue for a doctorate in dynamics and control, with a minor in propulsion.

Gerstenmaier succeeds William F. Readdy, who will continue to serve at NASA Headquarters as a special assistant until October, when he plans to leave the Agency to seek other opportunities. Mike Suffredini will be the International Space Station Program manager in Houston, replacing Gerstenmaier.