Nasa appointed Indian-American Bhavya Lal as the acting chief of staff of the US space agency. Dr Lal will also serve as the senior advisor for budget and finance at NASA.
Lal served as a member of the Biden presidential transition agency review team for the agency and oversaw the agency’s transition under the administration of President Joe Biden. In a statement, Nasa said Lal brings extensive experience in engineering and space technology, serving as a member of the research staff at the Institute for Defence Analyses Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI) from 2005 to 2020. Lal is an active member of the space technology and policy community, having chaired, co-chaired, or served on five high-impact National Academy of Science committees. She served 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.
Dr Lal holds Bachelors and Masters in Science degrees in nuclear engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a second Masters in Science from MIT’s Technology and Policy Programme, and a Doctorate in Public Policy and Public Administration from the George Washington University.