NASA will be changing leadership after a long streak of male leadership. This move comes after the agency decided to break the inclusivity barrier by procuring a female leader. President-Elect Joe Biden and his vice Kamala Harris may be the new administration administering this change. Jack Burns, the Astrophysics and Planetary Science professor of the University of Colorado hinted at this move. He further said that the new administration is likely to encounter rumors that they would have to clarify. He spoke this in the 237th meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) held through a webinar in the coronavirus pandemic season.
Burns reiterated that his thoughts about the next NASA administrator are that it would be a woman. This move would mark a milestone in the leadership of the agency. Moreover, the names of candidates vying for this position have been forwarded, and they are a perfect match for this job. This leaves the leaders at the determining end of the recruitment process. Nevertheless, Burns’s comments have a huge impact since he has served in numerous capacities on the NASA recruitment panel, being a member of the team that facilitated NASA’s choice of the incumbent administrator. Also, Joe Biden has made historic changes in his other selections. Some of the notable nominations have encouraged Avril Haines, the first female Director of National Intelligence, and Pete Buttigieg, a member of the LGBTQ community holding Secretary of Transportation’s position.
However, Burns hid the details of the possible candidates with a high probability of selection. The media quickly translated this information to mean that they may select one of the female candidates. Notable selections include Ellen Stofan and Pam Melroy, who will be part of the Biden administration once it comes into action. Stofan was NASA’s head scientist from 2013 to 2016 and became the first woman to head the National Air and Space Museum. On the other hand, Melroy is a former U.S. Air Force officer and NASA astronaut.
Moreover, she worked as the Tactical Technology Office’s junior director at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Biden has already chosen his transition team to prevent the delays in the procession of operations at the various institutions. A similar delay transpired in the inauguration of the Trump administration. Mike Holland, the vice of science policy and research strategy at the University of Pittsburgh, stated that the priority at the moment is combating the coronavirus pandemic. However, some scientists have reported a breakthrough with the vaccine.