Office of the Associate Administrator
The Office of the Associate Administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD) is responsible for directing and overseeing the nation’s space research program in Earth and space science. The Directorate engages the external and internal science community to define and prioritize science questions and seeks to expand the frontiers of four broad scientific pursuits: Earth Science, Planetary Science, Heliophysics, and Astrophysics.
Through a variety of robotic observatory and explorer craft, and through sponsored research, the Directorate provides virtual human access to the farthest reaches of space and time, as well as practical information about changes on our home planet.
Jan. 10, 2012
Dr. John M. Grunsfeld was named Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. in January 2012. He previously served as the Deputy Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, MD, managing the science program for the Hubble Space Telescope and its partner in the forthcoming James Webb Space Telescope. And in 2008 was NASA’s Chief Scientists. Dr. Grunsfeld’s background includes research in high energy astrophysics, cosmic ray physics and in the emerging field of exoplanet studies with specific interest in future astronomical instrumentation.
Sept. 10, 2012
Geoffery L. Yoder, assumed leadership responsibilities for the James Webb Space Telescope, as program director at the agency's headquarters in Washington, on June 30, 2012. Prior to this assignment, Yoder served as the director of the Office of Evaluation at NASA Headquarters, responsible for assessing NASA programs, projects and institutions for cost effectiveness, quality, and performance in achieving strategic objectives, including ensuring alignment with national goals and the agency's vision and mission.
Jan. 20, 2016
David Pierce is the Deputy Associate Administrator for Research (Acting) within NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. In this capacity, major functions include oversight of the Directorate’s relationship with the National Research Council and the scientific community as well as oversight of SMD’s scientific competition processes, including Announcements of Opportunity (AOs), NASA Research Announcements (NRAs), and Cooperative Agreement Notices (CANs).
Jan. 20, 2016
Mr. Gregory L. Robinson is the Deputy Associate Administrator for Programs in the NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD). He is responsible for assessing NASA programs, projects and institutions for technical and cost effectiveness, quality, and performance. He also coordinates program and project content with the other NASA Mission Directorates, and federal agencies in which SMD has partnerships. SMD has a portfolio of 97 missions in formulation, development, and operations.
Oct. 30, 2008
Roy A. Maizel is the Deputy Associate Administrator for Management, responsible for the formulation and execution of the Directorate’s $4+ billion budget, as well as the guidance and oversight of all strategic planning and policy development activities. He is also responsible for the provision of administrative support to the Directorate's approximately 200-person Headquarters organization.
Sept. 6, 2012
Dr. Eric Smith is the James Webb Space Telescope Deputy Program Director at NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C. He works with the Webb Project during the observatory’s development to keep NASA Headquarters management and external partners, both international and intergovernmental, apprised of how the developing hardware measures up against costs, schedules, and science requirements.
Feb. 5, 2016
Responsibility for defining, planning and overseeing NASA's space and Earth science programs is the responsibility of the Science Mission Directorate (SMD). Leadership of the SMD falls to the Associate Administrator, who, with the support of his Deputy Associate Administrators, help guide science at NASA.