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NOAA and NASA work together in a joint JPSS Program Office, which oversees the development of instruments, spacecraft, ground system and science. In addition to NOAA and NASA, JPSS is supported by a large number of contracting companies, academic institutions and research organizations.

Harry Cikanek

Harry Cikanek

Director

Harry comes directly to NESDIS from NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, OH, where he most recently served as the Deputy Director of the Engineering Directorate. Harry has over 28 years of experience at NASA, where he began his career as an aerospace engineer.

In prior assignments, Harry was Associate Director for Exploration Systems in the Program and Projects Directorate at NASA's Glenn Research Center and also led activities in space transportation, including space shuttle return to flight support, the Advanced Space Transportation Program, Next Generation Launch Technology, X - 33, Future X and Jupiter Icy Moon Orbiter. In the mid-1990's, Harry was responsible for mission management of NASA intermediate spacecraft launches, supporting the Earth Observing System (EOS) and even the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES). Harry also worked at Marshall Space Flight Center for over 10 years; during that time, he supported the Space Shuttle and led engine studies in a joint NASA / USAF program for future launchers.

Harry holds two degrees in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and has completed extensive academic coursework in systems engineering and project management. He is the author or coauthor of over 20 papers and articles. He is also a recipient of the Presidential Rank of Meritorious Executive, the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, and is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. When he and his wife, Erica, are not busy with their three children, Harry likes to cook, garden, camp and travel in his spare time.

Ajay Mehta

Ajay Mehta

Deputy Director

Ajay comes to JPSS from the Office of Satellite and Product Operations for NESDIS where he was the Deputy Director. He was responsible for the line management of five Divisions comprising more than 300 employees and 250 contractors. The responsibilities for the Office included the command and control of more than 18 geostationary and polar-orbiting environmental satellites, provision of products and services to national and international users, management of the NOAA Satellite Operations Facility as well as two Command and Data Acquisition Stations, and leading programmatic partnerships for satellite-aided search and rescue, data collection systems, and the National Ice Center. Ajay represented NESDIS on various management teams, boards and councils and was the U.S. Representative to the 40-Nation Cospas-Sarsat Council.

In prior assignments, Ajay managed NOAA's search and rescue program and supported NOAA's Office of Satellite Data Processing and Distribution in maintaining systems and software for product processing. He has led teams that have earned the Department's Gold and Bronze Medal for leadership on the Cospas-Sarsat program.

Preston Burch

Preston Burch

Associate Director/Program Manager

Preston Burch is the Goddard Space Flight Center Code 400 Associate Director and Program Manager for the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS). Previously, he served as Code 400 Associate Director of the Astrophysics Projects Division and Hubble Space Telescope Program Manager, with overall responsibility for the on-orbit servicing, mission operations, and science program on Hubble. Mr. Burch was awarded the NASA Distinguished Service Medal for his contributions to the Hubble First Servicing Mission in 1993. In 2002, Mr. Burch was chosen to receive The Meritorious Presidential Rank Award for leading the highly successful Hubble 3B Servicing Mission. Prior to joining NASA in 1991, Mr. Burch worked on a variety of NASA space missions in private industry. Mr. Burch began his aerospace career in 1966 on the Apollo Program as an engineer on the Lunar Module following receipt of a degree in Physics.