William (Bill) H. Gerstenmaier

William H. Gerstenmaier's official NASA photo.
William (Bill) H. Gerstenmaier

Press releases about the event are posted on the 2010 Press page, and photos on the Photo Gallery. Banquet and speaker information are on the Agenda page.

Read a more in-depth Profile of Gerstenmaier from the 2010 program book.

William H. Gerstenmaier is the Associate Administrator for Space Operations at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC. In this position, Gerstenmaier directs NASA's human exploration of space. He also has programmatic oversight for the International Space Station, Space Shuttle, space communications and space launch vehicles.

From Akron Ohio, Gerstenmaier began his NASA career in 1977 at the Lewis (now Glenn) Research Center in Cleveland, performing aeronautical research. He was involved with the wind tunnel tests that were used to develop the calibration curves for the air data probes used during entry on the space shuttle.

Gerstenmaier moved to Houston in 1980 to work at the Johnson Space Center. He served as a Propulsion Officer in the Mission Control Center during the early Space Shuttle program. Beginning in 1988, Gerstenmaier headed the Orbital Maneuvering Vehicle (OMV) Operations Office.

Subsequently, he headed Space Shuttle/Space Station Freedom Assembly Operations Office and served as Chief, Projects and Facilities Branch, Flight Design and Dynamics Division.

Gerstenmaier also served as Shuttle/Mir Program Operations Manager from 1995 to 1997. During this time, he acted as the primary liaison to the Russian Space Agency for operational issues and negotiated all protocols used in support of operations during the Shuttle/Mir missions. In 1997, the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement (RNASA) Foundation honored him with a Stellar Award in the Mid-Career category for his work on the Phase 1 Mir program.

In 1998, Gerstenmaier became manager of Space Shuttle Program Integration, where he had responsibility for the overall management, integration, and operations. In December 2000, he was named deputy manager of the International Space Station Program. He was named International Space Station program manager in 2002. He became NASA Associate Administrator for Space Operations in 2005 and continues in that capacity today.

He is married to the former Marsha Ann Johnson. They have two children.

Gerstenmaier received a bachelor of science in aeronautical engineering from Purdue University in 1977 and a master's in mechanical engineering from the University of Toledo in 1981. In 1992-93, he completed course work at Purdue for a PhD in dynamics and control with emphasis in propulsion.

Honors and Awards
Gerstenmaier has twice been awarded the Aviation Week and Space Technology's Laureate Award for "Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Space", as well as three NASA Certificates of Commendation, two NASA Exceptional Service Medals, a Senior NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, and the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Executives. The Huntsville National Space Club awarded him the Von Braun award in 2006. The Federation of Galaxy Explorers honored Gerstenmaier with the 2007 Space Leadership Award, and Purdue University honored him with the Distinguished Alumni Award, "For outstanding accomplishments in a career dedicated to the human exploration of space and international cooperation in space." In November 2008 he was honored again at Purdue as an Old Master in the 2008 Old Masters Program. He will receive the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement's National Space Trophy in April 2010.

Read press release as a Word document or as a pdf.

Return to the top