Dennis Andrucyk, director of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, has announced his intent to retire after more than 36 years of federal service, including multiple leadership roles at NASA and as Goddard’s director since January 2020.
Andrucyk will continue to serve as Goddard center director while NASA conducts a nationwide search and open competition for a new director. Once a new director is selected, and following a short transition period, Andrucyk will retire; at this time, there is no set date for his retirement.
“Dennis is an exceptional leader and a brilliant engineer who continues to serve NASA and our nation with honor and distinction,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “In my view, his crowning achievement at Goddard’s helm has been overseeing the brilliant launch and awe-inspiring first images release of the James Webb Space Telescope, a mission that represents our vision at NASA to explore the secrets of the universe for the benefit of all. I’m grateful for his decades of public service and continued dedication to Goddard, NASA, and our nation.”
Among Goddard’s accomplishments during Andrucyk’s tenure to date are the successful launch and commissioning of the James Webb Space Telescope, which already is transforming our view of the universe. Other accomplishments during his tenure at Goddard include the Landsat 9 launch, OSIRIS-REx collecting a sample from the asteroid Bennu and beginning its return to Earth, Parker Solar Probe “touching” the Sun, championing NASA’s next Venus mission – DAVINCI – ongoing development of the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, as well as the first Minotaur IV launch and multiple International Space Station cargo resupply missions from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallpos Island, Virginia.
In addition to several major mission milestones, Goddard also played a key role, under Dennis’ leadership, in celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, 75th anniversary of Wallops, and 30th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope. And all of this was done as Dennis led the center through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dennis joined the NASA family in 1988. Since then, he has been a recipient of the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, NASA Exceptional Service Medal, Goddard Outstanding Leadership Honor Award, and Goddard Exceptional Achievement Award in Diversity and Equal Employment Opportunity. Dennis is also a two-time recipient of the Senior Executive Service Meritorious Presidential Rank Award.