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Sean O’Keefe

Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Photo of Sean O'Keefe , NASA Administrator. Photo credit, the White House Sean O'Keefe was sworn in as NASA's 10th Administrator on Dec. 21, 2001, following his nomination by President George W. Bush on November 14 and confirmation by the U.S. Senate on December 20.

O'Keefe came to NASA from the Office of Management and Budget, where he served as Deputy Director since March 2001. As the first deputy cabinet officer appointed in the Bush Administration, Mr. O’Keefe oversaw the preparation, management and administration of the Federal budget and government wide management initiatives across the Executive Branch.

Before joining OMB, Mr. O’Keefe was the Louis A. Bantle Professor of Business and Government Policy, an endowed chair, at the Syracuse University Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. He also served as the Director of National Security Studies, a partnership of Syracuse University and Johns Hopkins University for delivery of executive education programs for senior military and civilian Department of Defense managers. Appointed to these positions in 1996, he was previously Professor of Business Administration and Assistant to the Senior Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School at the Pennsylvania State University.

Prior to appointment as the Secretary of the Navy in July 1992 by President George Bush, he had served previously as Comptroller and Chief Financial Officer of the Department of Defense since 1989. Before joining Defense Secretary Dick Cheney’s Pentagon management team in these capacities, he served on the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations staff for eight years, and was Staff Director of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His public service began in 1978 upon selection as a Presidential Management Intern.

Sean O’Keefe is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and has served as chair of an Academy panel on investigative practices. He was a Visiting Scholar at the Wolfson College of the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, a member of the Naval Postgraduate School’s civil-military relations seminar team for emerging democracies and has conducted seminars for the Strategic Studies Group at Oxford University. He served on the national security panel to devise the 1988 Republican platform and was a member of the 1985 Kennedy School of Government program for national security executives at Harvard University.

In 1993, President Bush and Secretary Cheney presented him the Distinguished Public Service Award. He was also the recipient of the Department of the Navy’s Public Service Award in December 2000. Sean O’Keefe was the 1999 faculty recipient of the Syracuse University Chancellor’s Award for Public Service. He is the author of several journal articles, contributing author of Keeping the Edge: Managing Defense for the Future, released in October 2000, and in 1998, co-authored The Defense Industry in the Post-Cold War Era: Corporate Strategies and Public Policy Perspectives. He is also a member of the Bohemian Club of San Francisco.

Sean O’Keefe earned his B.A. in 1977 from Loyola University in New Orleans, Louisiana, and his M.P.A. in 1978 from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. He and his wife Laura reside in Ashburn, Virginia with their children Lindsey, Jonathan, and Kevin.

December 2001


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