William H. Gerstenmaier
Associate Administrator, Human Exploration and Operations, NASA, Special Award Recipient
William H. Gerstenmaier is the associate administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. In this position, Gerstenmaier provides strategic direction for all aspects of NASA's human exploration of space and cross-agency space support functions of space communications and space launch vehicles. He provides programmatic direction for the operation and utilization of the International Space Station, development of the Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft, and is providing strategic guidance and direction for the commercial crew and cargo programs that will provide logistics and crew transportation to the space station.
Gerstenmaier began his NASA career in 1977 at the then Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, performing aeronautical research. From 1988-2005, he served in a variety of roles at Johnson Space Center including operations manager for the Shuttle/Mir Program and manager of the International Space Station Program. In that role, Gerstenmaier was responsible for the day-to-day management, development, integration, and operation of the space station. This included the design, manufacturing, testing, and delivery of complex space flight hardware and software, and for its integration with the elements from international partners into a fully functional and operating space station.
Named associate administrator for the Space Operations Directorate in 2005, Gerstenmaier directed the safe completion of the last 21 Space Shuttle missions that witnessed assembly completion of the International Space Station. During this time, he provided programmatic direction for the integration and operation of the ISS, space communications, and space launch vehicles.
Gerstenmaier received a Bachelor of Science in aeronautical engineering from Purdue University in 1977 and a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Toledo in 1981. For his technical contributions and leadership in national and international human spaceflight programs, Gerstenmaier was elected into the 2018 class of the National Academy of Engineering. He is the recipient of numerous NASA leadership awards,and was honored with an Outstanding Aerospace Engineer Award from Purdue University.