NASA has named Dr Bhavya Lal, an Indian American who oversaw the agency’s transition under the administration of President Joe Biden, as the space agency’s acting chief of staff.
As the senior White House appointee at NASA, Lal served as a member of the Biden Presidential Transition Agency Review Team for the agency, NASA said.
Lal brings extensive experience in engineering and space technology, serving as a member of the research staff at the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI) from 2005 to 2020.
Before joining the STPI, she served as president of C-STPS LLC, a science and technology policy research and consulting firm in Waltham, Massachusetts.
Prior to that, she served as director of the Center for Science and Technology Policy Studies at Abt Associates Inc in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
She 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) and co-organizes a seminar series on space history and policy with the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
For her many contributions to the space sector, she was nominated and selected to be a Corresponding Member of the International Academy of Astronautics.
She earned her BSc and MSc in nuclear engineering, as well as an MSc in technology and policy, from MIT, and holds a PhD in public policy and public administration from George Washington University.