Nasa appoints Indian-American as acting chief of staff

Ms Bhavya Lal, the Indian-American scientist who oversaw the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (Nasa) transition under President Joe Biden's administration, has been appointed the acting chief of staff of the United States space agency.

According to Nasa, Ms Lal brings "extensive experience" in engineering and space technology, serving as a member of the research staff at the Institute for Defence Analyses Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI) from 2005 to 2020.

There, she led the analysis of space technology, strategy, and policy for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and National Space Council, as well as federal space-oriented organisations, including Nasa, the Department of Defence and the intelligence community.

Ms Lal is an active member of the space technology and policy community, having chaired, co-chaired or served on five high-impact National Academy of Sciences committees.

She served two consecutive terms on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Federal Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing. She was also an External Council member of Nasa's Innovative Advanced Concepts Program and the Technology, Innovation and Engineering Committee of the Nasa Advisory Council.

Before joining STPI, Ms Lal was president of C-STPS LLC, a science and technology policy research and consulting firm.

Before that, she was the director of the Center for Science and Technology Policy Studies at Abt Associates, a global policy research consultancy based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Ms Lal earned Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in nuclear engineering, as well as a Master of Science degree in technology and policy, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and holds a doctorate in public policy and public administration from George Washington University.

Indo-Asian News Service


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