Dr. Jaiwon Shin, Associate Administrator, Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC

Again, I wouldn’t call it a very easy transition, but it was very rewarding because I have always enjoyed working with the big picture and also the sense of making a contribution at the national level is really precious. That is a rewarding experience. I encourage everyone who has any desire to make an impact at the national level that I think working at Headquarters could be very rewarding.      

NTB: Final question. In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges facing NASA and America’s space program during the next decade?

Dr. Shin: Because of my position, I don’t think I’m in an appropriate position to comment on, really, anything detailed about the space program. But for the agency I am very optimistic that I think what I’m hearing is that President Obama is very supportive of human space flight and NASA as an agency. He is very supportive, and he is very big on innovation and technological superiority in the world. Those are very relevant agendas for NASA, and I think as a member of the federal government we can contribute a lot in terms of innovation and technological superiority. So I am very hopeful that our future as a member of the executive branch in the federal government is bright, and I know I have worked with many, many NASA people over my 20-plus years, so this is based on my personal experience, not theory or conjecture. I know we have so many talented, committed, good people that will carry out the president’s space policy with the utmost level of excellence and integrity in the coming years, so I am very hopeful that support from the White House will continue and we will be doing a lot of exciting things.

For more information, contact Dr. Jaiwon Shin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To download this interview as a podcast, click here.

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