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NASA names Marla Pérez-Davis permanent director of Cleveland's Glenn Research Center

Dr. Pérez-Davis has been serving as the acting director since October.

CLEVELAND — It's official. 

Dr. Marla Pérez-Davis is the new director of NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. She has been acting director of the facility since last October. 

On Friday, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine made the promotion official. 

“I appreciate both the scope of responsibility Marla has taken on and the estimable abilities she brings to the table as a longtime member of the Ohio community,” said Bridenstine in a statement. “I look forward to working with her in her new position as we move forward to achieving NASA’s, and the nation’s, ambitious Moon to Mars exploration goals.”

As Glenn’s director, Dr. Pérez-Davis will lead a center that has a decades-long tradition of excellence in aeronautics and spaceflight, with more than 3,200 civil service and contractor employees and an annual budget of approximately $933 million.

Northeast Ohio is also an important part of NASA's new vision of exploration. NASA's newest spacecraft, Orion, has been in Ohio for weeks now at Plum Brook Station in Sandusky. The Orion will undergo 4 months of testing before an unmanned flight around the moon. This year, NASA Glenn Research Center is starting to build a new laboratory to advance communications. The Aerospace Communications Facility is scheduled to be completed in 2021. The 54 thousand square foot building will consolidate communications research from seven smaller buildings, and house 25 new state-of-the-art labs. 

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“I offer my sincere congratulations to Dr. Marla Pérez-Davis for being named NASA Glenn’s permanent director,” said Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio in a statement. “Through years of remarkable service at NASA, including Cleveland’s own NASA Glenn, Dr. Pérez-Davis has the experience necessary to successfully carry out the mission of the facility and lead the more than 3,000 employees and contractors across NASA Glenn and Plum Brook. I look forward to working closely with Dr. Pérez-Davis as NASA Glenn enters into a new era of exploration, discovery, and job-creating innovation.”

Dr. Pérez-Davis has been at NASA Glenn since 1983. She has also served as the center's deputy director, deputy director of the center’s Research and Engineering Directorate, director of the Aeronautics Research Office; chief of the Project Liaison and Integration Office; and chief of the Electrochemistry Branch. 

The native of Puerto Rico earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Puerto Rico, a master’s degree from the University of Toledo and a doctorate from Case Western Reserve University in chemical engineering.

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