NASA's deputy administrator leaving space agency

Lori Garver has a private-sector career planned.

Lori Garver

Lori Garver is taking a position with the Airline Pilots Association.

NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver announced Aug. 6 via Twitter that she is leaving the space agency for a position with the Airline Pilots Association.

Garver, who held NASA's number-two position since July 2009, will work for NASA through Sept. 6, according to an agency spokesperson.

"I have had the pleasure and honor of working side by side with Lori for the past four years, as we sought to position the agency for 21st century spaceflight, scientific discovery and deep space exploration," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement. "She has been an indispensable partner in our efforts to keep NASA on a trajectory of progress and innovation. In a time of great change and challenge, she has been a remarkable leader who has consistently shown great vision and commitment to NASA and the aerospace industry. "

John Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, praised Garver's efforts during her tenure, not only in helping set NASA's aerospace priorities but also in leveraging partnerships to encourage young women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

"She ensured that U.S. taxpayers were getting the most for their money from NASA with innovative public-private partnerships in space and on Earth, and her focus on getting more women and other underrepresented groups engaged in science, technology, engineering, and math was just as important," Holdren said

Garver, a Michigan native, worked previously for NASA from 1996 to 2001. As deputy administrator, she represented NASA to heads of other government agencies, the Executive Office of the President and Congress. Within NASA, Garver "led the way on so many" of the Obama administration's space priorities, Bolden said, including the agency's reestablishment of a space technology mission directorate, NASA's use of challenges and prizes to bolster scientific innovation, and the agency's commercial crew and cargo program.

There was no immediate word on who the White House would appoint to fill the position.

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