December 3, 2015 – NASA has named Al Condes the agency’s new associate administrator for the Office of International and Interagency Relations (OIIR) following the retirement of Michael O’Brien.
As associate administrator, Condes will oversee the office that provides executive leadership and coordination for NASA international activities and partnerships and for policy interactions between NASA and other U.S. Executive Branch offices and agencies.
“I’m delighted that Al Condes will be filling the big shoes left by Michael ‘Obie’ O’Brien’s departure,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, “With over 22 years of distinguished service at NASA, Obie has helped our agency to reach all corners of the globe with partnerships that are advancing our journey to Mars, and I know Al will continue to ensure that our valued international partners play a critical role in our future in space.”
Condes previously was OIIR’s deputy associate administrator, a position he has held since 2004. In that role, he was responsible for supervision and management of all aspects of the office, including international relations for NASA’s four mission directorates, administration of export control and international technology transfer programs, and support of NASA advisory councils and committees.
He began his NASA career in January 1984 as a cooperative education student serving in the agency’s Office of Procurement. In January 1985, he became a contracting officer, overseeing NASA’s major foreign contract activity and assisting the agency’s field centers with resolution of foreign procurement issues. In 1986, Condes served in an administrative capacity for the Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident and was responsible for implementation of all commission-related procurements.
Condes moved to NASA’s International Planning and Programs Office in December 1987, where he assisted in the development, coordination and implementation of NASA’s international policy objectives. During the U.S. Space Station program redesign in 1993, he supported NASA’s Office of Space Flight in developing policy regarding NASA’s international partners and served as one of the agency’s primary liaisons with the U.S. Department of State and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
In January 1994, Condes became special assistant to the associate administrator for policy coordination and international relations during the initial involvement of the government of the Russian Federation in the International Space Station program. In June 1994, he became international agreements manager, focusing primarily on the development of legal instruments to facilitate Russian involvement in the Shuttle-Mir and space station programs. He also was one of the lead negotiators and a principal author of NASA’s agreements with Russia, Europe, Japan and Canada for their respective participation in the space station program. In June 1996, he became chief of staff for NASA’s Office of External Relations, overseeing the office’s full spectrum of activities.
In January 1999, Condes became director for Earth Science in the Office of External Relations. In this capacity, he led a division responsible for providing international, interagency, and policy support for NASA’s Earth Science Enterprise. During his tenure, the division established over 290 cooperative agreements with over 60 nations in support of Earth science. Mr. Condes was also instrumental in the establishment of new Earth science-related cooperation with a number of non-traditional NASA international partners worldwide.
In August 2002, Condes became director for human space flight and research in the Office of External Relations, where he provided international and interagency policy guidance for NASA’s Space Flight Enterprise, Biological and Physical Research Enterprise, and the Education Enterprise.
In March 2004, he was selected as the deputy associate administrator for External Relations.
He has received numerous NASA awards for exceptional achievement, leadership and service to the agency, including the Presidential Rank of Meritorious Senior Executive. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and Politics from George Mason University and a Master of Arts degree in Science, Technology, and Public Policy from the Elliott School for International Affairs at George Washington University.