Gazebo Gazette

Longtime Stennis Space Center employee Christine Powell has achieved federal Senior Executive Service (SES) status and been selected to lead NASA’s Rocket Propulsion Test (RPT) Program office located at Stennis outside the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

In her new role, Powell will lead an RPT team responsible for managing NASA’s chemical rocket propulsion test facilities, activities, and resources across the agency.

The office also leads in identifying and integrating agency rocket propulsion test requirements and advancing propulsion test technologies.

Powell’s appointment to the key role was made possible by her attainment of SES status.

Created in 1979, SES classification is designed for federal employees who use well-developed executive skills to administer programs at the highest levels of the government.

The leadership program requires candidates to demonstrate skills in five key areas – leading change, leading people, results driven, business acumen, and building coalitions.

Prior to assuming her new position, Powell, a native of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and resident of Carriere, Mississippi, served as assistant director of the Stennis Engineering and Test Directorate.

The role included a range of responsibilities, including leadership of the directorate’s Project Formulation Planning and Control Office.

Powell also served on a technical committee to ensure readiness of the B-2 Test Stand at Stennis for recent Green Run testing of NASA’s Space Launch System core stage, directly supporting the agency’s Artemis effort to return humans, including the first woman and first person of color, to the Moon.

Powell has served in multiple positions since beginning her 31-year NASA career at Stennis as a student intern in 1991.

After graduating from Mississippi State University and becoming a full-time employee at Stennis in 1995, she worked as a controls engineer, instrumentation engineer, data acquisition engineer, test project console operator, systems engineer lead, project manager, and Systems Engineering Branch chief.

She also provided support to several program-level and agency-level teams and committees, leading efficiency and effectiveness initiatives for propulsion testing, and overseeing data, risk, and business management functions in the Engineering and Test Directorate.

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