Harry Cikanek

Harry is the acting Director for the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR), the unit of the NOAA Satellite and Information Service responsible for transforming raw and intermediate satellite data flows from NOAA and global observing system satellites into real time weather, environmental data and information products. These feed forecast models, and operations personnel in NOAA, and are essential to its mission to protect life, property and livelihoods. Harry began this assignment in January 2017 to ensure successful transition to operations for GOES 16 and JPSS-1 satellite data products, and chart a path to enable STAR to best harness the growing global observing system, emerging data product technologies and the advent of commercial weather data.

Prior to this assignment, Harry served just over five years as the first Director of the NOAA Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS), stabilizing and streamlining the program to tighten its focus on the weather mission while avoiding over $2 billion in cost. He oversaw the successful transition of the Suomi National Polar Partnership (the first JPSS mission) satellite to NOAA operations and spearheaded adding Polar Follow On – JPSS-3 and JPSS-4 missions to the program. Harry began his career as a NASA aerospace engineer. His NASA assignments included engineering and program management in rocket propulsion, launch services, space transportation technology, and human exploration of space. He holds two degrees in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, He is the author or coauthor of over 25 papers and articles. He is also a recipient of the Presidential Rank of Meritorious Executive, the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, and is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

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