JPL's New Associate Director Led Successful Mars
Dr. Firouz M. Naderi, manager of
NASA's Mars Exploration Program since April 2000, will broaden his
oversight of endeavors to study other parts of the universe, from
Earth to distant galaxies, in a new leadership position at NASA's
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA.
JPL Director Dr. Charles Elachi has announced that Naderi will
become JPL's laboratory's Associate Director for Programs, Project
Formulation and Strategy, effective March 7.
Elachi said, "Firouz was called on to lead the Mars Program at
JPL five years ago when the program had experienced some setbacks.
He helped restructure the program and has led it to some
spectacular successes. Now we are putting to a wider purpose the
strength that Firouz has shown in strategic planning of the Mars
program. In his new role, he will help position JPL to work with
the rest of NASA in accomplishing the nation's full vision for
In the new position, besides overseeing JPL's broad existing
programs, Naderi (right) will be in charge of long-term strategic
planning for JPL and will coordinate advance studies, acquisition
of new missions, and development of projects early in their life
The current deputy manager for Mars exploration, Dr. Fuk K. Li,
will become manager of that program. Peter C. Theisinger, project
manager for the Mars Science Laboratory mission in development,
will succeed Li as deputy manager of the Mars Exploration Program.
Richard A. Cook, now Theisinger's deputy, will become project
manager of the Mars Science Laboratory mission.
Two weeks ago, NASA honored Naderi with its highest award, the
Distinguished Service Medal, citing his "distinguished contribution
to space science and exploration."
Naderi joined JPL in 1979 and has held a number of program and
project management positions. For four years prior to managing the
recent successes of NASA's Mars program, he managed the NASA's
Origins Program, an ambitious plan to search for other Earths
around other suns. Earlier positions included program manager for
space science flight experiments and project manager for the NASA
Scatterometer, which monitored winds from Earth orbit. Naderi, who
was born in Shiraz, Iran, and moved to the United States 40 years
ago, holds three degrees in electrical engineering: a bachelor's
from Iowa State University in Ames, and a master's and doctorate
from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He lives
in Pacific Palisades, CA.