Indian-American Bhavya Lal was on Monday appointed by The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as its Acting Chief of Staff.
Lal has 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, said a statement by the US space agency.
She led analysis of space technology, strategy, and policy for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and National Space Council, as well as federal space-oriented organisations, including NASA, the Department of Defence, and the intelligence community.
She also served as a member of the Biden Presidential Transition Agency Review Team for NASA and oversaw the agency's transition to the new Biden administration.
She 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.
Lal will also serve as the senior advisor for budget and finance at NASA.
Lal earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in nuclear engineering, as well as a Master of Science degree in technology and policy, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and holds a doctorate in public policy and public administration from George Washington University. She is a member of both the nuclear engineering and public policy honor societies.