Griffin (and others) contemplate his future

At an all-hands meeting at the Kennedy Space Center on Thursday in advance of tonight’s shuttle launch, NASA administrator Mike Griffin said he doesn’t expect to be retained by the next administration. “[I]f the next president wants to ask me to continue, I’d be happy to do it. I doubt that that will happen. It would need to be under the right circumstances,” Griffin said, according to the CBS report. Those circumstances, he indicated, would include preserving the agency’s current direction and keeping funding levels at least where they are now. “We certainly can’t get by on any less than we’re doing and I don’t want to be a figurehead for claiming we can do something we can’t do.”

Griffin went into the job back in 2005 expecting that he would not be retained after the 2008 election, but there are those who’d like President-Elect Obama to keep Griffin at NASA. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) reiterated his support for Griffin, at least in the near term, to the Orlando Sentinel. “What I have said to the Obama operation is that I think Michael Griffin has done a good job and until they have a ‘must-have’ person from their standpoint, then Dr. Griffin should stay on,” Sen. Nelson said. And who is a “must-have” person? “Someone they are just dying to have as administrator. And I don’t see that [decision coming] any time soon.”

Griffin also won praise yesterday from Lou Friedman, executive director of The Planetary Society, at the organization’s press conference unveiling their space exploration roadmap. “I’ve complimented Mike Griffin on the job he’s done trying to implement the mandate he was given under the Vision for Space Exploration with resources that were less than he was promised,” he said. He stopped short, though, of endorsing the idea of keeping Griffin at NASA in the next administration: “The political choice for the next administrator is outside the ken of what we’re talking about here.” (Side note: one of the other speakers at yesterday’s press conference was former NASA Ames director Scott Hubbard, whose name has also emerged on some lists of potential replacements for Griffin.)

9 comments to Griffin (and others) contemplate his future

  • It’s possible that Lou complemented Mike, but I think it’s more likely that he complimented him.

  • gm

    so, Griffin will be the first “blogs’ fired” NASA administrator

  • Vladislaw

    President Elect Obama just announced the agency review teams.

    NASA Review Team Lead
    Lori Garver is currently the President of Capital Space, LLC. For the past 25 years, Garver has been a leader in the aerospace community, working in senior roles in the non-profit, government and commercial sectors, including serving as executive director of the National Space Society and as a Vice President of DFI International. In addition, Garver previously served as NASA’s Associate Administrator of Policy.

    Roderic (“Roddy”) Olvera Young is Senior Vice President of TMG Strategies, directing the firm’s Technology and Environment team and providing strategic counsel to the firm’s clients on their high profile conflict and crisis issues across a range of industries. He previously worked on Banking and Appropriations Committee assignments and served as the Press Secretary to NASA’s Administrator as a Presidential appointee.

  • Vladislaw

    Young was press secretary to Goldin, and was picked up by ZOT.

    “Young has been tapped by the ZOT Group, a Web consultancy focusing on emerging standards and communications, as communications director, a new position. Young, who started in the post last Monday, will oversee all client and corporate marketing and PR initiatives.”

    Hasn’t there been a push to make an internet standard for space?

    “Prior to joining ZOT, Young worked for more than 10 years in the PR and public policy arena. As Goldin’s press secretary, he shaped the space agency’s message and fostered relations with the national media. He was also responsible for conveying the importance of the Shuttle-Mir program, John Glenn’s return to space and the goals of the International Space Station.”

  • Great, a PR guy making space policy.

  • Vladislaw

    I don’t believe he is a policy “maker”. He is going to REVIEW policies. If you look at what he is doing at TMG:

    “For the last seven years, Roddy has counseled a number of Fortune 100 companies through crisis and conflict situations. He has enjoyed managing highly charged issues across a range of industries, including open source technologies, security software, interactive media and biotechnology – sometimes for long stints, before the European Commission, in Southeast Asia and throughout the United States. Roddy combines his media background, new media interests and Mexican heritage to advise clients who seek to understand and connect with a variety of audiences”

    I think if you wanted to attach a negative to him it would be to maybe call him a “snake oil salesman”?

    If he lands a job in a future administration involved in space it would be to SELL the NEW policies, probably to the youth vote, he has been involved in that before.

  • […] potrebbero fare è nominare un nuovo Amministratore Capo della NASA: quello attuale, Mike Griffin, sembra infatti piuttosto convinto che il suo mandato stia per terminare, e per la verità di voci in merito alla sua sostituzione ne […]

  • Al Fansome

    RAND: Great, a PR guy making space policy.


    The rest of the NASA transition team has been announced. They have some more experienced space policy people.

    NASA, Edward Heffernan
    NASA, Alan Ladwig
    NASA, George Whitesides


    – Al

  • Yes, actually, I talked briefly to Alan this morning. One of the points that I made to him is that the team needs a broader charter than just NASA–there are many issues that run across a broad range of agencies–DOT, DOD, Commerce, State, etc. I hope that they’ll put in some equivalent of the head of a new Space Council soon to coordinate.

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