08:08 AM

USRA Honored by NASA for Design, Implementation of Critical Program/Project Management Development Program

The Universities Space Research Association (USRA) was recently honored by NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC) for outstanding performance in leading the effort to design and implement NASA's Program/Project Management Development Program (PPMD) and in coordinating the delivery of the first round of training for NASA executives under this program. The PPMD, developed and conducted by USRA in partnership with JSC, provides critical training for current and future NASA managers that is designed to instill and enhance the project and program management capabilities needed to successfully meet the challenges of space exploration. The PPMD prepares NASA's future Program and Project Managers for the development and implementation of future space programs through a series of training courses and individualized mentoring plans. The PPMD, in its inaugural year, has been acknowledged, Agency-wide, as an exemplary training program for NASA Program and Project Managers.

In recognition of USRA's accomplishments with the PPMD, JSC Director Mike Coats, on April 28, presented USRA President and CEO Dr. Frederick A. Tarantino with a "flown flag" from the Space Shuttle Endeavour Mission STS-126. During this presentation, Mr. Coats noted the critical role that USRA's expertise and experience in successful management of scientific and technical programs in space and earth sciences and the association's almost unprecedented reach into the university community had played in making this effort a success. He especially commended the work done by USRA's Education Programs Office (EPO) staff in Houston, including Program Manager Barbara Hammond, Senior Advisor John O'Neill and Project Administrator Courtney Crooks, in bringing this experience and expertise to bear in designing and implementing the program and in coordinating the use of additional content and resources through USRA member university the Georgia Institute of Technology.

'USRA is commended for their expertise and understanding of the NASA mission, as well as their ability to draw upon the university community for its wealth of resources' Mr. Coats stated, adding that the association's work in making the PPMD a successful and effective program had provided NASA with a strong basis to build on and will enable the agency to develop 'A pool of leaders that are better prepared for future challenges in leading NASA's programs and projects.'

'Programs like the PPMD are tremendous examples of how USRA's unique strengths and qualifications can be used to enhance the nation's space science efforts,' note Dr. Tarantino. 'These efforts demonstrate that USRA's combination of experience in providing high-quality scientific and technical management coupled with our reach into some of the best academic programs in the nation enables us to provide exceptional support and services to our customers and our partner agencies.'

Established in 1969 by the National Academy of Sciences, USRA is a private, nonprofit consortium of 104 universities offering advanced degrees in space- and aeronautics-related disciplines. USRA's mission is to conduct leading-edge research, develop innovative technologies, promote space-related education and policy, and operate premier science/technology facilities by involving universities, private industry and government.