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Combining years of experience in the field with a commitment to the future of space science, USRA's leadership drives the association into the future.


President and Chief Executive Officer
Jeffrey IsaacsonJeff Isaacson became USRA's seventh President and Chief Executive Officer in October 2014. Dr. Isaacson's career spans both industry and the nonprofit sector, and includes a depth of experience in engaging academia and the broader scientific and technical communities in support of national objectives.

Prior to joining USRA, Dr. Isaacson was Vice President for Defense Systems and Assessments at Sandia National Laboratories, where he was responsible for development and integration of advanced science and technology into state-of-the art systems for the National Nuclear Security Administration, the Department of Defense, and other national security agencies.

From 2007 to 2011, Dr. Isaacson was at RAND Corporation, where he was Vice President and Director of the Arroyo Center, the U.S. Army's federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) for studies and analysis. He had returned to RAND from Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, where he directed systems engineering and integration of the Space Based Infrared System-High. This multibillion-dollar satellite program provides the United States a next-generation capability for missile warning. Prior to joining Lockheed Martin in 2004, Dr. Isaacson served in a variety of research and management positions for nearly 13 years at RAND, including Vice President and Director of the National Defense Research Institute, the FFRDC supporting the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, and the defense agencies. As a Department of Energy graduate fellow in the 1980s, he conducted research at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Dr. Isaacson earned degrees at Columbia University, Princeton University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received his Ph.D. in theoretical physics. He is a member of the Army Science Board and a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, having served in Afghanistan as a mobilized reservist from May 2009 to April 2010.


Senior Vice President, Science
Nick WhiteDr. Nicholas E. White serves as Senior Vice President for Science by leading the space science operating sector within USRA and providing oversight of scientific activity across USRA institutes and programs. This sector spans work in astronomy and astrophysics, lunar and planetary science, biomedical and life sciences, Earth science, space technology, and advanced scientific computing.

White came to USRA after a distinguished career at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. of more than 20 years. White led the Sciences and Exploration Directorate, where he was a leader in space and Earth science and a trusted steward of the center's projects and research programs. Throughout the course of his career, White pioneered space-based research both as a scientist and a Senior Executive. White previously held the positions of director of Goddard's Astrophysics Science Division and Chief of the Laboratory for High Energy Astrophysics. White was the founding director of the highly successful High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center. Prior to joining NASA, White worked for the European Space Agency. His research is primarily in the area of X-ray astronomy, studying black holes and neutron stars. His pedigree includes more than 200 publications in refereed journals.

Amongst the many recognitions of his leadership are the Presidential Meritorious Rank Award and the Goddard Space Flight Center Exceptional Achievement Award. White is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He received a Bachelor of Science in Physics from the University of Leicester and a doctorate in Space Science from University College London.

Bernard Seery

Senior Vice President, Technology, Research and Development
Bernard SeeryBernard Seery serves as Senior Vice President, Technology Research and Development. In this oversees USRA activities in aeronautics, advanced computing, microgravity research, autonomous systems and space nuclear technology, among other areas.

Prior to joining USRA, Bernard Seery had a distinguished 29-year career at NASA where he was a member of the Senior Executive Service. He served as Assistant Center Director for Advanced Concepts at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in the Office of the Director. In this role, he was the lead executive for strategic inter-agency collaborations on space architectures, quantum sensing, and asteroid planetary defense. In prior assignments, he served as Deputy Director, Sciences and Exploration Directorate, GSFC; Deputy Associate Administrator, Biological and Physical Research Directorate, NASA Headquarters; and Project Manager, James Webb Space Telescope. Before joining NASA, he held several positions at TRW Space & Defense and Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Seery earned a B.S. degree in Physics at Fairfield University and an M.S. degree in Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona. He is a graduate of the Senior Executive Fellows Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and is a Fellow of SPIE-the international society for optics and photonics. Among other distinctions, he received the NASA Exceptional Service Medal and the NASA Outstanding Leadership Service Medal.


Vice President, Finance & Administration and Chief Financial Officer
Jeanie Greenwell Ms. Jeanie Greenwell brings over 25 years of financial experience and expertise in government contracting in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors.

Greenwell joined USRA from Schafer Corporation where she served as Corporate Controller and Director of Strategic Pricing. Prior to Schafer, she was a Practice Leader for IBM Partners Breakaway Technologies for four years, providing expert insights and reengineering business processes. Greenwell spent over 10 years at the Research Triangle Institute as Finance Director and played a significant role in planning, coordinating, directing and evaluating full-scope financial operations. Greenwell has her Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Maryland.


Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Development
Vince DeFrancisciMr. Vince DeFrancisci serves as USRA's Vice President for Corporate Strategy and Development, leading USRA's efforts to develop and implement corporate strategy, with program development being a key part of these activities. Vince facilitates customer interactions, and develops strategy for the pursuit and capture of new business initiatives to Federal DoD and Civilian Government Agencies. Vince joined USRA in January 2009, as the organization's Director, Program Development for Federal Civilian Business with his most recent role at USRA being Vice President for Program Development.

Prior to assuming his current position, Vince served as Vice President of Business Development for ASRC Management Services. In this role, he led a team of professionals dedicated and responsible for identifying and capturing new business, increasing revenues, and expanding the firm's customer base. Vince is actively involved in the Maryland Space Business Roundtable, having recently served as its Treasurer, and the NASA Goddard Contractors' Association.

Vince has a Master of Science in Business Administration, from the University of Maryland, University College and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Albany in New York. He has also completed training and course curricula in specific Government contracting business areas such as program management, business development and pricing/costing strategies, and leadership.


Vice President, Human Resources
Paula KingPaula King brings 20 years of experience in corporate human resources. Ms. King served as Senior Vice President at NeighborWorks® America, a congressionally chartered nonprofit organization that supports community development in the United States. Prior to joining NeighborWorksR in 2012, she served as Vice President for Operations and Chief Human Resources Officer at the U.S. Institute of Peace, an organization established through an Act of Congress in 1984 that is dedicated to preventing, mitigating, and resolving violent conflicts around the world.

Before her tenure at the Institute of Peace, she served as Director of Human Resources at the International Life Sciences Institute, and was a compensation analyst at Children's National Medical Center. During her career, she developed many new initiatives for organizations while fine-tuning existing programs and operations.

Ms. King holds an M.S.A. in Human Resources from Central Michigan University, and a B.S. in Business and Management: Personnel and Labor Relations from the University of Maryland. She also holds certifications as a senior professional in human resources (SPHR), a senior certified professional (SHRM-SCP), a human capital strategist (HCS), and is a certified mediator.


Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Communications
Kevin SchmadelMr. Schmadel joined USRA in 1983, working in program development at USRA's Washington Office. He contributed to the expansion of USRA programs at NASA Field Centers and other Federal laboratories in the areas of Earth science, space physics, astronomy, and microgravity research. He relocated to Boulder, Colorado, from 1985 to 1987, to serve as Associate Director of USRA's Atmospheric Sciences Program.

Mr. Schmadel returned to Washington to manage the early planning of new USRA research centers, bringing together government, universities, and industry in successful collaborations. Mr. Schmadel worked on the planning and formation of partnerships for the Center of Excellence in Space Data and Information Sciences, the National Center for Space Exploration Research (formerly the National Center for Microgravity Research), the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts, the Center for Program/Project Management Research, the Student Explorer Demonstration Initiative, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), USRA's Division of Space Life Sciences (formerly Division of Space Biomedicine), the Center for Space Nuclear Research, and USRA's participation in the management and operation of Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico.


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