WASHINGTON — NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine says he’s pushing to have a current NASA center director and former astronaut be nominated to be his deputy.
At a Space Transportation Association luncheon here June 12, Bridenstine said that Janet Kavandi would be a “great” deputy administrator if nominated by the White House and confirmed by the Senate. His comments were the first time he identified a specific candidate for the job.
“That’s the kind of person at this juncture, given how important everything is right now, that we need as our deputy, and I’m advocating for her,” he said.
Kavandi has been director of NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland since March 2016 after a year as deputy director of the center. Selected as an astronaut in 1994, Kavandi flew on three shuttle missions from 1998 through 2001. She later served in management positions at the Johnson Space Center, including director of flight crew operations responsible for the astronaut corps, before moving to Glenn.
Bridenstine offered his endorsement of Kavandi after being asked about the status of the deputy administrator position, which has been vacant since the beginning of the Trump administration last January. He said the position is critical given ...