Leadership Team

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 five broad scientific pursuits: Earth Science, Planetary Science, Biological and Physical Sciences, 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.

Dr. Nicola Fox
Associate Administrator
Sandra Connelly Portrait
Sandra E. Connelly
Deputy Associate Administrator
Dr. Michael New
Deputy Associate Administrator for Research
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Dr. Joel Kearns
Deputy Associate Administrator for Exploration
Dr. Wanda Peters
Deputy Associate Administrator for Programs
Karen Flynn Portrait
Karen Flynn
Deputy Associate Administrator for Management
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Dr. Paul Hertz
Senior Advisor to the Associate Administrator


Science Division Directors

The SMD Division Directors lead NASA scientists and engineers across the globe in the development and operations of over 100 missions/year.

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Dr Lisa Carnell
Biological and Physical Sciences Division Director
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Dr. Karen M. St. Germain
Earth Science Division Director
John Gagosian
John Gagosian
Joint Agency Satellite Division Director
Dr. Lori Glaze Portrait
Dr. Lori Glaze
Planetary Science Division Director
Dr. Mark Clampin
Astrophysics Division Director
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Margaret Luce
Heliophysics Division Acting Director

Program Directors

Jeff Gramling
Mars Sample Return Program Director

Other Division Directors

Holly Degn
Resource Management Division Director
Kristen Erickson Portrait
Kristen J. Erickson
Science Engagement and Partnerships Division Director

Branch Chiefs

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Dr. Jens Feeley
Chief of Policy Branch

SMD Chief Technologist

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Dr. Carolyn Mercer
SMD Chief Technologist

Program Officers

Dr. Travis Blake
Space Traffic Coordination Program Officer
Lauri K. Newman
Conjunction Assessment Program Officer

Senior Communications Official

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Karen Fox
Senior Communications Official