Gregory confirmed to No. 2 post at NASA
Posted: August 4, 2002

Frederick D. Gregory. Photo: NASA
The U.S. Senate late Thursday confirmed Frederick D. Gregory as NASA Deputy Administrator. Gregory, a veteran Space Shuttle commander who previously served as the Associate Administrator for Space Flight, is set to become the agency's first African-American deputy.

The Senate will now send the confirmation back to the White House for the President's signature. Gregory must be sworn into office before he assumes his new position.

"I couldn't be happier for Fred. His considerable experience as an astronaut and aviator, and his leadership in space flight safety are needed at this critical time for the agency," said NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe. "This is a busy time for the U.S. Senate and I'm delighted Fred's nomination was given brisk consideration. I appreciate the efforts of Senator Fritz Hollings and Senator Ron Wyden, both of whom acted in NASA's best interest in expeditiously guiding Fred's nomination through the confirmation process."

It's the first time in more than a decade that the Deputy Administrator position has been filled. Gregory will serve as the chief operating officer for the agency and report directly to Administrator O'Keefe. He will be responsible for directing and managing many of the programs as well as the day-to-day operations and activities at NASA.

Before being named Associate Administrator for Space Flight in December 2001, Gregory served as Associate Administrator for Safety and Mission Assurance and was charged with the oversight of all safety issues within NASA. He developed, implemented and managed quality assurance policies that dealt with reliability and maintainability.

"This is an incredible opportunity," Gregory said after hearing of the Senate's vote. "I appreciate the President's confidence and I'm thankful for the Senate's speedy consideration. We have a lot of work to do and I'm confident we'll be able to continue NASA's historic legacy of accomplishment."

As a NASA astronaut, Gregory logged more than 455 hours in space during three Space Shuttle missions. In 1985, he served as pilot on board Challenger during STS-51B. Gregory was mission commander for STS-33 in 1989 and STS-44 in 1991.

Gregory was selected as an astronaut in 1978, after a distinguished career with the U.S. Air Force. He logged nearly 7,000 hours in 50 types of aircraft, including 550 combat missions over Vietnam. He retired as a Colonel in December 1993.

Gregory has been awarded the Legion of Merit Defense Superior Service Medal, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, 16 Air Medals, The Air Force Commendation Medal and three NASA Space Flight medals.

His honors also include the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the NASA Outstanding Leadership Award, the National Society of Black Engineers Distinguished National Scientist Award, the George Washington University Distinguished Alumni Award and an "Ira Eaker Fellow" by the Air Force Association.

Additional information about Gregory is available on the Internet at:

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