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NASA Marshall names new Engineering Director and Deputy

(13 December 2018 - NASA Marshall) Larry Leopard has been appointed director of the Engineering Directorate at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, following Preston Jones’s appointment to the center’s associate director, technical. Succeeding Leopard as deputy director for engineering is Lisa Watson-Morgan, who most recently served as the associate director of operations for the directorate.

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Larry Leopard has been named director of the Engineering Directorate at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. (courtesy: NASA/MSFC)

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Lisa Watson-Morgan has been named deputy director of the Engineering Directorate at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. (courtesy: NASA/MSFC)

“Larry and Lisa bring to bear a depth of engineering expertise in developing and testing innovative systems, propulsion elements and cutting-edge technologies that support all facets of NASA’s mission,” said Marshall Center Director Jody Singer. “I look forward to their continued leadership and the strengthening of Marshall’s capabilities under their guidance.”

The center’s largest organization, comprised of more than 2,000 civil service and contractor personnel, the Engineering Directorate is responsible for the design, testing, evaluation and operation of flight hardware and software associated with space transportation, spacecraft systems, science instruments and payloads now in development at Marshall.

Leopard joined NASA in 1990. His early work at Marshall includes contributions to space shuttle propulsion elements; the Space Shuttle Main Engine Technology Test Bed; Rocket-Based Combined Cycle propulsion technology; Fastrac 60K engine; International Space Station payloads, Environmental Control and Life Support Systems and research facilities for space station; small satellite technology demonstrations; and multiple science instruments. Since his appointment to the Senior Executive Service in 2008, the personnel system covering top managerial positions at federal agencies, he has held several leadership roles within the Engineering Directorate. Most recently, he was its deputy director 2016 to 2018.

A native of Athens, Alabama, Leopard graduated from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. He has received numerous NASA awards, including the Medal for Outstanding Leadership in 2007 and 2011; the Medal for Exceptional Achievement in 1997; the Silver Snoopy, presented by NASA's astronaut corps, in 1993; multiple director’s commendations; and numerous group achievement and special service awards. Leopard and his wife Shane live in Athens and have two children.

Watson-Morgan joined NASA in 1989. Since her appointment to the Senior Executive Service in 2013, she has served as manager of Marshall’s Chief Engineer’s office, director of the Spacecraft and Vehicle Systems Department and most recently as associate director of operations for the Engineering Directorate.

A native of Huntsville, Watson-Morgan graduated from the University of Alabama in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering. She also received a master's degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering in 1994 and a doctorate in Engineering Management in 2008, both from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. She has received numerous NASA awards, including a Meritorious Presidential Rank Award in 2018; Exceptional Achievement Medal in 2010; and the Exceptional Service Medal in 2001. Watson-Morgan and her husband live in Huntsville and have three children.