Stockton Selected to Lead NPOESS Program

September 27, 2007

Dan Stockton was named the new program executive officer for the National Polar-Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS), NOAA officials announced today. In this role, Stockton will be responsible for overseeing NPOESS and the NPOESS System Program Director and serve as the Fee Determining Official for the major system acquisition of this critical, next-generation satellite program. He replaces Brig. Gen. Susan K. Mashiko, who held the position previously.

“Dan has an extensive background working with the NPOESS program,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary for oceans and commerce and NOAA administrator. “He will continue the aggressive management strategy put in place by the NPOESS Executive Committee to ensure this program’s ultimate success.”

Before being named PEO, Stockton served for two years as the system program director (SPD) for NPOESS, as a colonel in the U.S. Air Force. As the SPD, he led budget and technical teams that tracked the development of NPOESS. Stockton held command of all the day-to-day activities associated with NPOESS, ranging from the acquisition and development of ground control and processing facilities of the satellite data, to leading high-level briefings before NOAA, DoD and NASA officials, and staffs from Congress and the Office of Management of Budget.

Steve Simione, the deputy SPD, will be the acting SPD until NOAA fills the position through competitive recruitment.

NPOESS is a tri-agency environmental monitoring program directed by the Department of Commerce (NOAA’s parent agency), the Department of Defense (DoD) and NASA. NPOESS will combine NOAA’s current polar-orbiting satellite operations with DoD’s Defense Meteorological Satellite Program into one system. With the launch of the first spacecraft planned for 2013, NPOESS will bring improved data and imagery, allowing for better weather forecasts, severe-weather monitoring and detection of climate change.

As NPOESS emerged from the Nunn-McCurdy review process, Stockton was credited with instilling stricter oversight and management controls on the program.

When Stockton served in the office of the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force between 1998 and 2000, he was the designated space and acquisition expert. Between 2000 and 2002, Stockton was the manager of the Atlas V Program and led this $500 million rocket development program from design review to its successful first launch.  Stockton served as chief of staff for the Signals Intelligence Directorate in the National Reconnaissance Office and led a staff that supported the acquisition and operations of space systems to satisfy the United States’ highest priority intelligence missions.

Stockton, a Tallahassee, Fla., native earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, and a Master’s degree in Systems Management from the University of Southern California. Stockton also earned diplomas from the Squadron Officer School (residence), the Defense Systems Management College at Ft. Belvoir, Va., the Air Command and Staff College (residence), the Air War College (correspondence). 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is celebrating 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Commission of Fish and Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 70 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.