GSSM Alumnus Named Deputy Director of NASA Center in Huntsville, Alabama

May 3, 2022

Cheraw native and South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics alumnus Joseph Pelfrey ‘95 has been appointed deputy director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. After graduating from GSSM, Pelfrey attended Auburn University and graduated in 2000 with a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering.

Pelfrey will assist in leading Marshall's 7,000 onsite and near-site civil service and contractor employees and oversee its $4 billion yearly budget. He will also help guide Marshall's extensive portfolio of human spaceflight, science, and technology development efforts, which entails almost every mission NASA seeks. 

Previously, Pelfrey was the manager of Marshall's Human Exploration Development and Operations Office from 2020 to 2022. He oversaw the management and implementation of Marshall's work portfolio in human exploration and transportation projects; habitation systems, payload and mission operations, and integration; and International Space Station payload, facility, environmental control, and life support systems project development and integration. He also served from 2018 to 2020 as deputy manager of that organization. 

He has served in technical leadership positions at Marshall throughout his NASA career. He started his career as an industry partner, helping develop space station payload hardware. He joined Marshall in 2004 as an aerospace engineer in the Science and Mission Systems Office. He served in multiple leadership roles within the ISS Program and led numerous payload facilities and science experiments' development, integration, and operations. 

“We are very happy for and proud of Joseph,” President Danny Dorsel said. “I am sure the years of hard work and dedication that Joseph has given to NASA have propelled him to this well-deserved position. We are fortunate that Joseph has been generous with sharing his experiences with current Govies interested in the aerospace industry.”