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NASA Names Six New Members to Advisory Council

April 16, 2014

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden has announced the appointment of six new members to the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). The group advises NASA’s senior leadership on challenges and solutions facing the agency as it unfolds a new era of exploration.

The six new members are Wanda Austin, Wayne Hale, Scott Hubbard, Miles O’Brien, Thomas Young, and Kathryn Schmoll. The group has a wide range of expertise in the aerospace field.  They are joining NAC Chair Steven Squyres and continuing members Marion Blakey, Kenneth Bowersox, David McComas, William Ballhaus, Charles Kennel (ex officio) and Lester Lyles (ex officio).

Wanda Austin is president and chief executive officer of The Aerospace Corporation, a leading architect for the nation’s national security space programs. She is internationally recognized for her work in satellite and payload system acquisition, systems engineering, and system simulation and served on President Obama’s Review of Human Spaceflight Plans Committee in 2009.

Wayne Hale is a consultant for Special Aerospace Services of Boulder, Colorado.  He retired from NASA in 2010 as the deputy associate administrator of strategic partnerships at the agency’s Headquarters in Washington after serving in the senior leadership of the Space Shuttle Program from 2003 to 2008.

Scott Hubbard is a consulting professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University, where he focuses on planetary exploration, especially Mars, and also serves as the director of the Stanford Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation. He is the former director of NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., served on the Columbia Accident Investigation Board and was director of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program.

Miles O’Brien is a veteran independent journalist who focuses on science, technology and aerospace. He is the science correspondent for the PBS NewsHour, a producer and director for the PBS science documentary series NOVA, and a correspondent for the PBS documentary series FRONTLINE and the National Science Foundation Science Nation series. He was also the science, environment and aerospace correspondent and anchor on CNN for 17 years.

Thomas Young served as executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Corporation and is the former director of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., former president and chief operating officer of Martin Marietta and former chairman of SAIC. He began his NASA career at the Langley Research Center in Virginia, was deputy director of NASA’s Ames Research Center, and also was a member of the Lunar Orbiter Project Team, mission director for Program Viking, and director of the Planetary Program at NASA Headquarters.

Kathryn Schmoll is the vice president for finance and administration at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research in Boulder. She also has served as comptroller for the Environmental Protection Agency and assistant associate administrator in the NASA Headquarters Office of Space Science and Applications, among other NASA positions.

The NAC and its members are assisting the agency on its path to Mars — a stepping stone approach to exploration that encompasses successful expansion of commercial cargo services to commercial crew, full utilization of the International Space Station until at least 2024, and development of new technologies and the Orion crew vehicle and Space Launch System to travel to an asteroid and the Red Planet.

For more information about the NAC, visit:



David Weaver
Headquarters, Washington

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Council Membership

The NASA Administrator appoints the Chair and all members of the NASA Advisory Council, as well as a NASA civil servant to serve as its Executive Director. The chairs of the Space Studies Board and the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board of the National Academies serve as ex officio, nonvoting members of the Council.


Steven W. Squyres, Ph.D Steven W. Squyres, Ph.D
James A. Weeks Professor of Astronomy
Cornell University


Dr. Wanda Austin Dr. Wanda Austin
President and CEO
The Aerospace Corporation
Photo of Dr. William F. Ballhaus, Jr. Dr. William F. Ballhaus Jr. 
President and Chief Executive Officer (Ret.)
The Aerospace Corporation
The Honorable Marion C. Blakey The Honorable Marion C. Blakey
President and Chief Executive Officer
Aerospace Industries Association
Mr. Kenneth Bowersox Mr. Kenneth Bowersox
U.S. Naval Aviator (Ret.)
Former NASA Astronaut
Mr. N. Wayne Hale Mr. N. Wayne Hale
Special Aerospace Services of Boulder Colorado
Prof. G. Scott Hubbard Prof. G. Scott Hubbard
Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Stanford University
Photo of Charles Kennel Dr. Charles F. Kennel
Chair, Space Studies Board, National Academy of Sciences
Director Emeritus and Distinguished Professor
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
University of California, San Diego
Photo of Lester L. Lyles Gen. Lester L. Lyles
Chair, Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board, National Academy of Engineering
USAF (Ret.)
David McComas Dr. David J. McComas
Assistant Vice President
Space Science and Engineering Division
Southwest Research Institute
Mr. Miles O’Brien Mr. Miles O’Brien
Independent Journalist
Kathryn Schmoll Ms. Kathyrn Schmoll
Vice President for Finance and Administration
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
Kathryn Schmoll Mr. A. Thomas Young
Lockheed Martin (Ret.)
Former Director, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center