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go to next speaker imageRichard Gilbrech
Associate Administrator, Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, NASA

Richard J. Gilbrech is associate administrator for NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. He leads the agency in the development of the nation’s new spacecraft that will return astronauts to the moon and travel to Mars and other destinations in the solar system.

Gilbrech previously served as director of NASA's Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Miss., where he provided overall leadership, planning, policy direction, management and coordination for all activities implementing NASA’s mission directorates.

Before being named director of Stennis, Gilbrech served as deputy center director of NASA's Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va. Prior to that he was deputy director of the NASA Engineering and Safety Center, located at Langley.

Gilbrech started his NASA career in 1991 at Stennis in the area of propulsion test technology. In 1995, he was selected as the Stennis national aerospace plane project manager responsible for the construction, activation and operation of a facility to test actively-cooled structures. Later in 1995, he was named the X-33 project manager, responsible for converting the A-1 test stand at Stennis from space shuttle main engine testing to linear aerospike turbopump single and dual engine testing. From 1998 to 2000, he served as chief of the Propulsion Test Engineering Division within the Propulsion Test Directorate at Stennis.

Gilbrech earned a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering from Mississippi State University. He earned master's and doctorate degrees in aeronautics from the California Institute of Technology with a minor in planetary science.

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