As part of his government transition strategy, the newly elected President of the United States, Joe Biden, has defined an eight-member team that will assist him in analyzing the processes of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA. It is not yet an official team, characterized as a volunteer, but the formation suggests the commitment of the leader to ethnic and gender diversity, something pointed out throughout his campaign.
In the next 2 months, they will be accompanied by the politician: Ellen Stofan (planetary geologist), Waleed Abdalati (head of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences), Jedidah Isler (assistant professor of Astrophysics at Dartmouth College, the first black woman to obtain a Ph.D in astrophysics at Yale University in 2014), Bhavya Lal (scientist at the IDA Science and Technology Policy Institute), Pam Melroy (former NASA astronaut) and Dave Noble (executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union).
Shannon Valley (postdoctoral fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences) and David Weaver (director of communications for the Air Line Pilots Association) complete the picture, which will have quite a job to do with the announcement of the departure of the current administrator of the agency, Jim Bridenstine, after the inauguration.
Biden has already played a large role in NASA operations, assisting in coordinating the institution’s ongoing partnership with SpaceX during the term of former President Barack Obama.