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Indian-origin appointed as the NASA Acting chief of staff

Indian-American Bhavya Lal was on Monday appointed by NASA as the Acting Chief of Staff of the US space agency. Lal worked as a member of the Biden Presidential Transition Agency Review Team for the company and managed the agency’s development under the direction of President Joe Biden. In a report, NASA told that Lal takes great experience in engineering and space technology, working 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 directed 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 organizations, including NASA, the Department of Defence, and the intelligence community. Lal is an effective member of the space technology and policy community, owning chaired, co-chaired, or worked on five high-impact National Academy of Science committees.

She subserved two consecutive terms on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Federal Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing and was an External Council member of NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts Program and the Technology, Innovation, and Engineering Advisory Committee of the NASA Advisory Council. Before enrolling STPI, Lal was president of C-STPS LLC, a science and technology policy research and consulting firm. She was the director of the Center for Science and Technology Policy Studies at Abt Associates, a global policy investigation consultancy based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

She co-founded and is co-chair of the policy course of the American Nuclear Society’s annual conference on Nuclear and Emerging Technologies in Space (NETS) and co-organizes a seminar sequence on space history and management with the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. For her many donations to the space division, she was chosen and selected to be a Corresponding Member of the International Academy of Astronautics, the statement said.

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Lal obtained a 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 endures a doctorate in public policy and public administration from George Washington University. She is a member of both the nuclear engineering and public policy honor communities.

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