Gration Tapped to Lead NASA

Updated: Retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Jonathan Gration has been picked to head NASA under the new Administration, reported yesterday. He will replace Michael Griffin, who has led the civilian space agency since April 2005 (see below). Gration retired from the Air Force in October 2006 as director of strategy, policy, and assessments for US European Command. A command pilot, he served for 32 years, amassing more than 5,000 flying hours in the cockpits of T-38s, F-5s, F-15s, and F-16s, including more than 1,000 hours of combat and combat support. Among his assignments was a one-year stint as White House Fellow and special assistant to the then-NASA deputy administrator Hans Mark from September 1982 to August 1983. He spent much of his later Air Force career in strategy and planning roles. Gration has a master of arts degree in national security studies from Georgetown University. (For more, read MSNBC’s report.) (We learned in March that Gration was not to be nominated to head NASA, rather he was appointed special envoy to the Sudan.)