Engineering Management & Systems Engineering;
School of Engineering & Applied Science

Doctoral Student Christyl Johnson Named Deputy Director of NASA Goddard


Doctoral Student Christyl Johnson has been named the new Deputy Director for Science and Technology at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Christyl’s previous position was Executive Director of the National Science and Technology Council, Office of Science and Technology Policy, in the White House. In her new position, she will manage the extensive research and development activities of the Goddard Space Flight Center. She also will be responsible for formulating the Center's future science and technology goals and leading an integrated program of investments aligned to meet those goals.

Christyl’s high-level appointment comes at a time when she is actively engaged in her doctoral research work at GW. As discussed more fully in a separate article in this edition of the E&EM Newsletter, Christyl’s dissertation topic is “Environmental Life Cycle Criteria for Making Decisions about Green Versus Toxic Propellant Selections.”

Christyl began her new position at Goddard (located in Greenbelt, Maryland) on December 6, 2010.

Before her service as Executive Director of the National Science and Technology Council, Christyl served as a NASA Assistant Associate Administrator in the agency’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. In that capacity, she worked with Administration officials to coordinate science and technology policy across the federal government and establish national goals for federal science and technology investments in basic science, technology, energy, environment, natural resources and national security.

Prior to being named NASA’s Assistant Associate Administrator, Christyl served as the Deputy Chief Engineer for Program Integration and Operations in the Office of the Chief Engineer at NASA, where she managed the development, maintenance, and implementation of agency engineering and program/project management policies, standards and practices.

Before that, Chrystal worked in the NASA Office of Earth Science as the Associate Director for Exploratory Missions where she managed the formulation and development for exploratory missions and was involved in mission development activities with Goddard, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Langley Research Center and several international and industry partners. She previously held a number of senior engineering, project management, and organizational management positions at the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, involving the design, development, and application of advanced systems for atmospheric, aeronautic and space flight research missions. Christyl holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, and a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University.