NASA announces Indian American Bhavya Lal as Acting Chief of Staff

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Bhavya Lal served as a member of the Biden Presidential Transition Agency Review Team . (Image Source: Twitter/Bhavya Lal)

Bhavya Lal will also serve as the Senior Advisor for budget and finance at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). 

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on Monday announced Indian American Bhavya Lal as the acting Chief of Staff for the organization. At NASA, Lal will also serve as the Senior Advisor for budget and finance. Lal served as a member of the Biden Presidential Transition Agency Review Team and oversaw the organization’s transition under the administration of US President Joe Biden.

A statement issued by NASA stated that Lal brings extensive experience in engineering and space technology, serving as a member of the research staff at the Institute for Defense Analyses Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI) from 2005 to 2020.

The statement further elaborated that she is an active member of the space technology and policy community, having chaired, co-chaired, or served on five high-impact National Academy of Science committees. She served two consecutive terms on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Federal Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing. Lal was an External Council member of NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts Program and the Technology, Innovation, and Engineering Advisory Committee of the NASA Advisory Council.

Lal co-founded and is co-chair of the policy track of the American Nuclear Society’s annual conference on Nuclear and Emerging Technologies in Space (NETS). She was also nominated and selected to be a Corresponding Member of the International Academy of Astronautics.

Prior to joining STPI, Lal served as the president of a science and technology policy research and consulting firm named C-STPS LLC. Before that, she was the director of the Center for Science and Technology Policy Studies at Abt Associates, which is a global policy research consultancy based in Massachusetts.

NASA also announced other appointees for senior agency positions, including Phillip Thompson as White House liaison, Alicia Brown as Associate Administrator for the Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs, and Marc Etkind as Associate Administrator for the agency’s Office of Communications. It also named Jackie McGuinness as Press Secretary and Reagan Hunter as Special Assistant for the agency’s Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs. 

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