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Stephen Jurczyk graduated from the University of Virginia with Bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering in 1984 and 1986. He began his NASA career in 1988 as a design and integration & test engineer in the Electronic Systems Branch at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, where he developed several space-based Earth remote sensing systems.
From 2002 to 2004, Jurczyk was director of engineering, and from 2004 to 2006, he was director of research and technology at Langley, where he led the organizations’ contributions to a broad range of research, technology and engineering disciplines contributing to all NASA mission areas. He became Langley’s Deputy Center Director from August 2006 until his appointment as director in May 2014. He later moved to NASA HQ and became the associate administrator of the Space Technology Mission Directorate, effective June, 2015, where he formulated and executed the agency’s Space Technology programs, focusing on developing and demonstrating transformative technologies for human and robotic exploration of the solar system in partnership with industry and academia. He became NASA’s associate administrator, the agency's highest-ranking civil servant position, effective May, 2018, behind presidential appointees Jim Bridenstine, administrator; and Jim Morhard, deputy administrator.
Jurczyk received several awards during his NASA career, including two NASA Outstanding Leadership Medals, the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Executive in 2006, and the Presidential Rank Award for Distinguished Executive in 2016 -- the highest honors attainable for federal government leadership. He is an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.