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.
Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen is the Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at the Agency’s Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Previously, Dr. Zurbuchen was a professor of space science and aerospace engineering at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He was also was the university’s founding director of the Center for Entrepreneurship in the College of Engineering.
Dennis Andrucyk is the Deputy Associate Administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD). Previously, he served as NASA’s acting chief technologist and as deputy associate administrator for the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD). Prior to joining STMD, Andrucyk held many positions at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, including Director of the Applied Engineering & Technology Directorate, Chief of the Software Engineering Division, and Chief of the Mission Engineering and Systems Analysis Division.
Dr. Michael New is the Deputy Associate Administrator for Research within NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. Principal responsibilities encompass: ensuring scientific quality and integrity of research processes, including oversight of SMD scientific competition processes for research awards and flight programs; representing SMD research goals, policies and programs inside and outside NASA; overseeing SMD’s relationship with the National Research Council; and managing Directorate-level coordination of suborbital-class flight programs.
Sandra Connelly is the Deputy Associate Administrator for Programs in the NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD). She is responsible for assessing a portfolio of over 100 missions in formulation, development, and operations, for technical and cost effectiveness, quality, and performance. She coordinates program and project content with NASA’s other mission directorates and federal agencies with whom SMD partners.
Roy A. Maizel is the Deputy Associate Administrator for Management, responsible for the formulation and execution of the Directorate’s $5+ 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.
Steve Clarke is the Deputy Associate Administrator for Exploration in NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. He serves as the agency’s interface between the NASA mission directorates, the scientific community, and other external stakeholders in developing a strategy to enable an integrated approach for robotic and human exploration within NASA’s Exploration Campaign.
Gregory L. Robinson is the Director for the James Webb Telescope Program in the NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD). Previously, he was the Deputy Associate Administrator for Programs, responsible for assessing NASA programs as the 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.
Dr. Eric Smith is the Program Scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope Program at NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C. He also serves as the Astrophysics Division Chief Scientist. 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.
Michael Seablom is the Chief Technologist for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters. He has the responsibility for surveying and assessing technology needs for the Heliophysics, Astrophysics, Earth Science, and Planetary Science Divisions, and is the primary liaison to the NASA Office of Chief Technologist and the Space Technology Mission Directorate.
The SMD division directors play a significant role in support of NASA scientists both at Headquarters and at NASA centers, universities, institutes and partner agencies the world over.
Dr. Michael H. Freilich received BS degrees in Physics (Honors) and Chemistry from Haverford College in 1975 and a Ph.D. in Oceanography from Scripps Institution of Oceanography (Univ. of CA., San Diego) in 1982. Dr. Freilich is now the Director of the Earth Science Division.
John Lee is currently the Director of the Joint Agency Satellite Division (JASD) in the Science Mission Directorate (SMD) at NASA Headquarters. Mr. Lee previously held the Deputy Director position for a little over two years. In partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), JASD manages the development and launch of reimbursable satellite programs, projects, and instruments.
Dr. Paul Hertz was named Director of the Astrophysics Division in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA in March 2012. He is responsible for the Agency's research programs and missions necessary to discover how the universe works, explore how the universe began and developed into its present form, and search for Earth-like planets.
Nicola Fox is the Heliophysics Division Director in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC. Heliophysics is not only vital to understanding Earth’s most important and life-sustaining star, but the study of key space phenomena and processes supports situational awareness to better protect astronauts, satellites, and robotic missions exploring the solar system and beyond.
Craig Tupper is the Director of the Resource Management Division, responsible for formulation, justification, and execution of NASA’s approximately $5.6 billion annual Science budget.
Kristen Erickson is the Division Director for the Science Engagement and Partnerships Division, responsible for managing the Science Activation program, external information technologies and strategic communications for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. The Division also supports the Directorate in the development, integration, archiving, and quality control of presentation materials used by leadership and Directorate personnel for external audiences.
Dan Woods is the Division Director for the Strategic Integration and Management Division (SI&MD), responsible for the Directorate’s strategic planning and messaging, science advisory committee, congressional, and executive activities. He is also responsible for the administrative support provided to Directorate employees.
Dwayne Brown leads and coordinates multimedia products for science-related discoveries and activities for the news media and the general public.