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Joint Polar Satellite System

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Gregory Mandt has overall responsibility for the JPSS Program. In this role, Mandt oversees the development, acquisition, integration, installation, and acceptance of major system elements (spacecraft, instruments, launch services and ground systems) for all four JPSS satellites, the first of which was successfully launched in November 2017, and the NOAA-NASA Suomi NPP satellite. Before coming to JPSS, Mandt served as System Program Director for the GOES-R Series program for nine years, culminating in the successful launch of the GOES-R/16 satellite in November 2016.

Previously, Mandt served as Director of the National Weather Service (NWS) Office of Science and Technology, where he was responsible for science and engineering planning, the acquisition and refresh of critical technologies, and the scientific developments of the Meteorological Development Laboratory. His previous assignments at NWS included Director of the Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services from 2000 to 2005 and Chief of the Science Branch, Office of Meteorology, from 1996 to 2000.

Mandt also served as the Program Manager and Lead Engineer for the NOAA Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) Program from 1992 to 1996.

During his 14 year tenure as an officer in the United States Air Force, Mandt held several management and executive-level positions, including Acquisition Manager of the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP); Executive Officer for the Space Systems Division; Chief of the Spacecraft Engineering Branch, DMSP Program Office; Research Engineer in the Flight Dynamics Laboratory; and Flight Test Engineer.

Mandt holds Master of Science degrees in Systems Engineering and Electrical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Mechanics from the United States Air Force Academy and is also a graduate of the Defense Systems Management College Program Management Course.

Jacqueline Townsend

Deputy Program Manager

As Deputy Program Manager, Jackie Townsend is the JPSS second-in-command, collaborating with the JPSS Director in every aspect of the program to ensure effective implementation of the development, launch, testing and operation of the spacecraft of all four JPSS missions. Ms. Townsend is also the senior NASA official on the JPSS Program.

Ms. Townsend joined the JPSS Program in 2012 as Head of Strategic Planning and Advanced Concepts. In this role, she managed strategic planning for the JPSS-2 mission and the formulation of JPSS’s Polar Follow-On Program (PFO/JPSS-3, JPSS-4). This included initial strategic planning for all mission, satellite, and ground system development, mission systems engineering, and mission science operations.

Ms. Townsend has worked at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center for more than 25 years. She began her NASA career working space environmental effects in GSFC’s Materials Engineering Branch. She joined the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) program in 1997, and supported the program through three successful servicing missions in several critical engineering and management roles. She served as the HST Contamination Engineering Manager and then managed development of HST’s highly successful Wide Field Camera 3 instrument.

Following the last HST servicing mission in 2009, Ms. Townsend joined GSFC’s Astrophysics Projects Division, which hosts NASA’s Physics of the Cosmos and Cosmic Origins program offices. She served as Manager of the Advanced Concepts and Technology Office, creating programs and processes to link science needs to technology development across the breadth of NASA’s astrophysics endeavors. There she also managed the Satellite Servicing Study, capturing the lessons learned from 20 years of HST missions and creating a roadmap for NASA’s servicing capabilities into the future.

Ms. Townsend holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from the University of Maryland–College Park and has published more than 40 papers on space architectures, space environmental effects, and engineering management.

Barbara Grofic


Grofic has served NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center for more than 35 years. During that time, she has held positions of increasing responsibility in computer programming, software project management, branch- and division-level line management, systems engineering and program management. She was previously the Assistant Director for Program Support in the Sciences and Exploration Directorate, and before that the Program Systems Manager for NASA’s Earth Systematic Missions (ESM) Program. Earlier, she served as the Program Systems Engineer for the GOES-R Program, a Deputy Division Chief of the Information Systems Division, Branch Chief of the Earth Sciences Missions Engineering Branch, and head of the Real-Time Software Engineering Branch. She also led the Hubble Space Telescope Ground System Development through three servicing missions.


John Longenecker

Deputy Program Manager for Program Planning and Control

Longenecker has been with NOAA since 1992, when he joined the NOAA Corps from the US Navy. After retiring in 2012 with more than 29 years of active duty in the uniformed service, Longenecker took a civilian job with the Office of Program Planning and Integration, serving as Chief of Staff. Within a year, he was asked to assume the role of Acting Chief Financial Officer of the National Weather Service, and his understanding of appropriation law and financial management was deemed an asset to the agency.

Prior to assuming the duties at JPSS, Longenecker was the Chief of the Budget Execution and Operations Division for the Office of the Chief Financial Officer. In this role, he managed the execution of more than $6 billion across all NOAA offices. He is the proud recipient of two NOAA Administrator Awards.

Longenecker holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Auburn University and masters certificates from George Washington University in Project Management and Government Contracting.

Mitch Goldberg

Dr. Mitch Goldberg

JPSS Program Scientist

Dr. Goldberg serves as an independent expert and representative of the science and user communities responsible for ensuring the scientific integrity of JPSS products at all stages of development, operation and exploitation. Prior to his position at JPSS, Dr. Goldberg served as Chief of the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) Satellite Meteorology and Climatology Division (SMCD), where he led the development of new algorithms and applications for NOAA’s next generation operational satellite systems. Dr. Goldberg oversaw the research and development of high quality calibrated observations and products, as well as activities to expand the use of satellite data for monitoring global meteorological, environmental and climatological conditions.

Dr. Goldberg serves as the chair of the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) Global Space-based InterCalibration System (GSICS). He is also the co-chair of the International TOVS (TIROS Operational Vertical Sounder) Working Group, and the NESDIS science representative to the Coordination Group on Meteorological Satellites (CGMS).

Since joining NOAA in 1990, Dr. Goldberg has received three Gold Medals, one Silver Medal and three Bronze Medals from the Department of Commerce, and the NOAA Administrator’s Award for leadership in developing the international GSICS. An active alumnus of the University of Maryland, Dr. Goldberg was honored with the University of Maryland’s Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science Most Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2004.

Dr. Goldberg earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Rutgers University, and Masters and Doctoral degrees from the University of Maryland. His scientific expertise is in developing algorithms to derive atmospheric soundings of temperature and water vapor from microwave and infrared sounders.


Dr. José M. Davis

Integrated NOAA/NASA Program Systems Engineering Manager

Dr. José M. Davis has overall responsibility for managing the integrated NOAA-NASA Program Systems Engineering (PSE) team. In this role, he has end-to-end responsibility for requirements and performance of the entire JPSS, ensuring the integrity of the technical baseline, which includes concepts of operation, architecture, external interfaces and requirements. He joined NOAA in 2012, after 29 years with NASA.

Dr. Davis served as Lead for Engineering Standards and Processes in the Chief Engineer’s Office of the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC), supporting the Chief Engineer and serving as point of contact for selected programs and projects within the Agency and at GRC. He was a member of the 2006 –2007 class of the NASA Leadership Development Program (LDP), completing assignments at NASA Headquarters as a Senior Safety Manager in the Mission Support Division of the Office of Safety and Mission Assurance. In this role, he supported both the Constellation and Space Shuttle Programs; and served as a Senior Engineer in the Advanced Planning and Analysis Division of the Office of the Chief Engineer. Throughout his career, Dr. Davis has served as a project engineer, supervisor, team lead, project manager, and systems engineer.

Dr. Davis holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico, and Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Industrial Engineering from Cleveland State University. He has also attended Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and the Brookings Institution. He has received several NASA individual and team awards.