(I restrained myself and left the exclamation point off the end of the title.)
Yesterday the Obama Administration named a new interim leadership team and officially stated that associate administrator Christopher Scolese “will serve as acting administrator until a successor to Michael Griffin has been nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.” It is not a surprise that Griffin will not be kept on, but this is the first official indication to my knowledge.
It is also worth noting that the mendacious and clearly dishonest David Mould, the Assistant Administrator of Public Affairs who actively censored Jim Hansen, is gone as well.
So, the first good moves have been made. It appears that Mr. Obama is conducting one of the most thorough and patient reviews of the space agency that has ever been conducted by an incoming president, so one expects the next few moves to be wise as well. Given his stellar choices for other scientific and technical positions in his administration, I imagine the president’s choice for NASA Administrator will also be inspiring.
(Cross-posted to Daily Kos)
As the Washington Post and Daily Kos’s mcjoan reported last week, the Bush administration is resorting to the time-honored tactic of burrowing, that is, shifting political appointees into tenured senior civil servant positions, in the rush to preserve as much as it can of its disastrous pro-industry ideology before Obama takes over. The most brazen example, mentioned by the Post and mcjoan, was the burrowing of six ideologues into senior positions at the Interior Department. Now I’ve learned of what looks to be a similar attempt at NASA.
The agency has announced that the position of Chief Information Officer is open – but, here’s the catch, only for a grand total of nine working days, spanning the Thanksgiving Holiday. This is too short and too distracted a time for an adequate search in any event, and also gives someone on the inside track an overwhelming advantage. CIO is a critical position in this information-savvy age: he or she will be responsible for “leading and managing all information technology strategies and initiatives” at the agency. Shouldn’t the Obama administration have an opportunity to make or at least contribute to this important decision? Administrator Michael Griffin doesn’t seem to think so.