10 Things To Know About Dr. Bhavya Lal, NASA’s New Acting Chief Of Staff

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NASA has named Dr Bhavya Lal as its new acting Chief of Staff on February 1. According to NASA, Lal has an extensive experience in engineering and space technology as she had been serving as a member of the research staff at the Institute for Defence Analyses Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI) from 2005 to 2020.

Previously, Lal was a member of Joe Biden’s Presidential transition team, to help with the transition over NASA in the upcoming US government. President-elect Biden will take the office on 20 January 2021.

Here are the 10 things you should know about Dr Bhavya Lal

1. A leading researcher at the IDA Science and Technology Policy Institute for the White House Office of Science and Technology, she has achieved expertise in engineering and innovation related to space science, satellites, space nuclear energy, and space exploration. 

2. She is an active member of the space technology and policy community and has also served the National Academy of Science (NAS) committees.

3. Dr Bhavya Lal has written articles for The Economist, National Geographic, Space News, and other prestigious publications.

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 4. Her contributions in the field of space got her selected as a Corresponding Member of the International Academy of Astronautics. 

5. Dr. Bhavya Lal also participated in the UN Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) to develop an international scientific roadmap for small satellites.

6. She is an External Council Member of NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program. 

7. Dr. Lal was also the president of C-STPS LLC, a science and technology policy research and consulting firm.

 8. Dr. Lal holds B.S (Bachelor of Science) and M.S (Master of Science) degrees in nuclear engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), US. She also holds second M.S. degree from MIT’s Technology and Policy Program. She also holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Public Administration from George Washington University, Washington DC. 

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9. She is a member of both nuclear engineering and public policy and public administration honour societies.

10. She co-founded the policy track of the American Nuclear Society’s annual conference on nuclear and emerging technologies in space (NETS) and also organised a seminar series on space history with the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.