Listen Live
WRNB HD2 Featured Video


Woodrow Whitlow, Jr., Associate Administrator for Mission Support Directorate

Woodrow WhitlowWoodrow Whitlow, Jr., Associate Administrator for Mission Support

Image Credit: NASA Woodrow Whitlow, Jr. is the Associate Administrator for Mission Support Directorate at NASA Headquarters. He was appointed to that position by Administrator Charles F. Bolden on Feb. 3, 2010.

The Mission Support Directorate enables program and institutional capabilities to conduct NASA’s aeronautics and space activities. As the directorate’s associate administrator, Whitlow is responsible for most NASA management operations, including human capital management, headquarters operations, agency operations, the NASA Shared Services Center, strategic infrastructure, cross-agency support, and construction and environmental compliance and restoration.

Prior to being appointed to his current position, he was director of the Glenn Research Center. There, he was responsible for managing an annual budget of approximately $750 million, and overseeing a workforce of approximately 1,680 civil service employees that is supported by approximately 1,580 contractors. The center has 24 major facilities and over 500 specialized research facilities located at the 350-acre Cleveland site and the 6,400-acre Plum Brook Station site in Sandusky, Ohio. At Glenn, Whitlow led research and development efforts in the areas of aero-propulsion, in-space propulsion, aerospace power and energy conversion, communications technology, and human research.

From September 2003 through December 2005, Whitlow served as the Deputy Director of the NASA John F. Kennedy Space Center. There his duties included assisting the director in determining and implementing center policy and in managing and implementing the center’s missions and agency program responsibilities in the areas of processing, launch, and recovery of launch vehicles; processing of spacecraft; and acquisition of launch services. Prior to this appointment as Deputy Director, he served as the Director of Research and Technology at the Glenn Research Center.

Whitlow began his professional career in 1979 as a researcher at the NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va. He assumed various positions of increasing responsibility before moving to the Glenn Research Center in 1998. In 1994, he served as Director of the Critical Technologies Division, Office of Aeronautics, at NASA Headquarters.

Whitlow earned his bachelor of science, master of science and doctor of philosophy degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also holds an honorary doctor of engineering degree from Cranfield University. He has written more than 40 technical papers, most in the areas of unsteady transonic flow, aeroelasticity and propulsion.

Whitlow has received numerous awards, including the Presidential Rank of Distinguished Executive, Presidential Rank of Meritorious Executive, U.S. Black Engineer of the Year in Government, NASA Exceptional Service Honor Medal, NASA Equal Opportunity Honor Medal, the (British) Institution of Mechanical Engineers William Sweet Smith Prize, Minorities in Research Science Scientist-of-the-Year Award, and National Society of Black Engineers Distinguished Engineer of the Year Award. The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics elected him as a Fellow in 2010.

History Maker Dr. Woodrow Whitlow  was originally published on