Shana Dale, the immediate past Deputy Administrator of NASA, is a recognized senior executive and leader in aerospace policy and in homeland security, and has broad experience in national security. She also has extensive federal government knowledge and experience, and proven abilities navigating the legislative process, White House policy and procedures, and agency operations.

Serving as second-in-command, she was responsible to the NASA Administrator for providing overall leadership, planning, and policy direction. Ms. Dale, along with the Administrator, led NASA as it undertook the enormous transition from retiring the Space Shuttle to developing the United States’ next human space flight capability. She represented NASA to the White House, U.S. Congress, other U.S. government offices, foreign governments, industry, non-governmental organizations, and the public.

She successfully resolved complex operational problems in all her areas of responsibility, including being Chief Acquisition Officer and overseeing finance, information technology, legal, procurement, international affairs, education, human resources, property, environmental liability, security, strategic messaging, legislative and intergovernmental affairs, communications, equal opportunity, and small business outreach. Ms. Dale initiated cross-functional business operations at the agency for all key strategic initiatives (e.g.: International Space Station, Hubble Space Telescope, aeronautics research) undertaken by NASA resulting in more efficient enterprise-wide management practices. She also immediately addressed improvements to long-standing issues of financial management and information technology, and achieved significant progress on the President’s Management Agenda scorecard, the annual financial audit, and IT systems’ integration across NASA’s ten centers.

Her concern for adequate NASA appropriations and the perceived lack of NASA’s relevance by the American public led her to revitalize legislative strategy, public outreach, and strategic messaging in order to strengthen NASA’s position with Congress, the White House, and the American public. Through her leadership in this effort, NASA officials now speak to groups beyond the traditional aerospace audiences -- broadening outreach with a focus on NASA-related technologies, and how NASA makes major contributions to the nation’s innovative and economic competitive edge.

While serving at the White House, immediately after 9/11, Ms. Dale worked very closely with the newly emerging Office of Homeland Security in the White House to ensure that science and technology became a fundamental tool in efforts to protect the country. Her efforts resulted in her leading the Homeland & National Security Division at the Office of Science and Technology Policy. After the anthrax attacks on U.S. mail, she led the interagency team that developed standards and procedures for irradiation of mail, under enormous time pressure, resulting in a process that successfully neutralized anthrax spores.

She has successfully led offices in the U.S. House of Representatives and White House through periods of major change including transition from minority to majority status in Congress and transition to a new Administration in the White House. She is known for her deep understanding of the inner workings of the U.S. Congress, White House, and NASA. Before joining NASA, Ms. Dale was Deputy Director for Homeland and National Security for the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President. She also served over ten years on Capitol Hill including her tenure as Staff Director of the House Subcommittee on Space & Aeronautics.

In recognition for her professional commitment to service, she was a member of the Board of Directors of Women in Aerospace for four years. Ms. Dale has been honored with awards from the National Capital Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the Women’s World Awards, the Congressional Black Caucus, and Women in Aerospace.

She received her B.S. with honors in management information systems from the University of Tulsa and her J.D. from California Western School of Law. She is a member of the bars of California and the District of Columbia, and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. Ms. Dale resides in Washington, DC.


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The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies is an independent, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit public policy research institute. The Institute identifies and aggressively shepherds discussion on key science and technology issues facing our society. From these discussions and forums, we develop meaningful science and technology policy options and ensure their implementation at the intersection of business and government.


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