A career long appointment with NASA at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, is a testament to how Joan A. “Jody” Singer has dedicated her life to space exploration. Through her hard work, she has now ascended to the deputy director position at the center.
The Hartselle, Alabama, native graduated from The University of Alabama in 1983 with a degree in industrial engineering, and shortly after, she joined NASA as an engineer in the professional intern program.
For the next four years, Singer was an engineer in the Space Shuttle Main Engine Project Office. She then spent 10 years moving up the ranks serving as business manager, assistant manager and deputy manager in the External Tank Project Office.
In 2000, Singer was named the assistant manager of the Shuttle Projects Office. Two years later, she was appointed to the Senior Executive Service and was named the office’s deputy manager.
Singer spent the next five years as the manager of the Reusable Solid Rocket Project Office. In addition to supervising engineers and technicians, she led the team through return to flight activities after the Columbia accident.
Next, Singer became the deputy manager of the Space Shuttle Propulsion Office where she stayed for four years. During this time, she also served in a dual role as the deputy for the Ares Project Office. In both positions, Singer helped to ensure a smooth conclusion of the Space Shuttle Program in 2011 and transitioned the workforce and assets to the development of the Space Launch System, where she was named the deputy program manager of the Space Launch System Program Office. The SLS is the next deep space heavy lift launch vehicle scheduled for first flight in late 2018.
Singer later served as manager of the Flight Programs and Partnerships Office for three years, which supports International Space Station payload operations and life support systems.
Today, she is the deputy director of Marshall, assisting the director to manage one of NASA’s largest field installations.
Over her career, Singer has received three NASA Outstanding Leadership Medals as well as the Presidential Rank of Meritorious Executive Award, the highest honor for career federal employees. She has also been given the Space Flight Awareness Leadership Award, the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, the Silver Snoopy Award and was named a Space Flight Awareness Launch Honoree.
She completed two NASA fellowships, one in 2002 at Pennsylvania State University, and one in 1996 at the Simmons College Graduate School of Management.
Singer and her husband, Christopher, live in Huntsville. She has three children, Katherine Ogea, Griffin Adams, Andrew Singer, and two grandchildren, Lofton Taylor and Sutton Ogea.