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Mon, Apr 10, 2023

NASA Names New Goddard Center Director

Dr. Makenzie Lystrup to Head Maryland Facility

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson has named Dr. Makenzie Lystrup director of the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. Lystrup succeeds acting center director Dave Mitchell, who resumes his former duties as the agency’s chief program management officer at NASA’s Washington D.C. headquarters.

Nelson remarked: “Makenzie is a natural leader, bringing to Goddard a scientist’s drive for discovery along with a wealth of industry experience and knowledge. As center director, she will lead a world-renowned team of scientists, engineers, and technologists focused on Earth and space science. Under her leadership, the Goddard workforce will continue to inspire, innovate, and explore the unknown for the benefit of all.

Mr. Nelson added: “I’d also like to thank Dave Mitchell for serving as acting center director since January and ensuring a seamless transition. We look forward to Dave resuming his role at headquarters.”

The Goddard Space Flight Center is one of NASA’s largest field operations. The installation’s sites include a primary campus in Greenbelt, Maryland, as well as Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, the Katherine Johnson Independent Verification & Validation Facility in West Virginia, the Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, the White Sands Complex in New Mexico, and the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Texas. The Goddard Space Flight Center is responsible for the oversight and execution of a $4-billion portfolio, and is home to the U.S.’s largest concentration of scientists, engineers, and technologists—the entirety of which is  dedicated to Earth and space science. The center’s workforce comprises more than ten-thousand civil servants and contractors.

Lystrup stated: “Goddard is an incredible center and true national asset with the best and brightest minds in science and engineering; I’m humbled and honored to lead such an amazing … world-renowned team. To build upon our legacy, I’m keenly focused on growing the next generation of innovators along with ensuring our team has the resources and tools to advance technologies and make new discoveries that boost the space economy and benefit us all.”

Prior to joining NASA, Lystrup was vice president and general manager of Ball Aerospace’s civil space division—a capacity in which she was responsible for the company’s portfolio of civil space systems, which spans myriad scientific fields. In subject role, she oversaw Ball’s contributions to several NASA missions, such as the agency’s James Webb Space Telescope, Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE), Landsat 9, and the Roman Space Telescope.

Lystrup served, also, as senior director for Ball’s Civil Space Advanced Systems and Business Development, where she managed new business activities for NASA, NOAA, U.S. government agencies, and academia.



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