National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the United States’ space agency, has named Indian-American Bhavya Lal its acting chief of staff. She will also serve as the senior budget and finance advisor at the space agency.
Lal was a member of Joe Biden’s Presidential Transition Agency Review Team for the space agency, according to her biography on NASA’s website. She oversaw the agency’s transition under the Biden administration.
“Lal brings extensive experience in engineering and space technology, serving as a member of the research staff at the Institute for Defense Analyses Science and Technology Policy Institute from 2005 to 2020,” NASA said in a statement. “There, she led analysis of space technology, strategy, and policy for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and National Space Council, as well as federal space-oriented organisations, including NASA, the Department of Defense, and the intelligence community.”
Lal is also an active member of the space technology and policy community, having chaired, co-chaired, or served on five high-impact National Academy of Science committees. She also served two terms on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Federal Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing. She was an external council member of the agency’s Innovative Advanced Concepts Program and the Technology, Innovation and Engineering Advisory Committee of the NASA Advisory Council. Besides this, she has also served as the director of the Center for Science and Technology Policy Studies at Abt Associates, a global policy research consultancy.