Society is pleased to announce that Jim Watzin, Director of NASA’s Mars Exploration
Program, will address the 18th Annual International Mars Society Convention, to be held August 13-16 at the Catholic University of America in
Washington, D.C. Mr. Watzin assumed the role, commonly referred to as “Mars
Czar”, in November 2014. More
recently, Mr. Watzin served as the technical director and deputy program
executive for Command, Control, Communication, Computer, Intelligence,
Surveillance, and Reconnaissance at the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) in
Huntsville, Alabama. Among his other duties, he oversaw MDA's space development
and test activities.
hands-on background in systems engineering, Mr. Watzin has led multiple flight
projects and program offices, serving as the NASA program manager for several
programs that included Living with a Star, Solar Terrestrial Probes, and
Robotic Lunar Exploration.
He was the
founder of the Planetary Projects Division at Goddard, where he oversaw the
development of the Mars Science Laboratory's Sample Analysis at Mars instrument
suite and mentored the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) and
Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer
(OSIRIS-REx) mission formulation teams.