December 13, 2010, - 5:21 pm
True to the asinine Charles S. Bolden, Obama’s NASA chief’s declaration that NASA’s primary mission is outreach to the Muslim and Arab worlds, the Obama Adminstration picked an Arab–whose surname indicates that he might be Muslim (but it’s not certain)–as its top scientist. Figures. You’ll notice there’s a “But” in my headline above. That’s because, as noted in a story I broke on this site, the Clinton and both Bush Administrations NASA employed the Muslim Brotherhood’s chief Iraqi spy (who worked on Saddam Hussein’s behalf and later ran a charity that sends millions to Al-Qaeda and HAMAS) as one of their top scientists at the space agency. That’s far more scary. It’s like no-one cares, despite the fact that many of our NASA activities are highly classified and lead to important discoveries or concern important missions that we need to protect.
It sounds like Abdalati has plenty of scientific credentials . . . if the study of ice clouds is a NASA priority (and since Obama’s NASA chief said Islamic outreach is the primary function of NASA, maybe those ice clouds contain 72 virgins or a secret zabihah halal cryo-shawarmeh stand). But so do a lot of scientists who’d love to be the top NASA doc. Was his choice an affirmative action pic in pursuit of the announced purpose of Obama’s NASA as outreach to the Muslim world and Arab street? I doubt we’ll find out. What are his politics? What’s his background? His bios all over the net are carefully cleansed of such information, and it leaves a huge question mark. On the other hand, maybe he keeps his nose out of Arabist politics (which would be a good thing), but I doubt it. What do you think? Reagan & Bush practiced pan-Arabist politics with NASA, so I’d hardly put it beyond Obama to continue doing the same. Here’s NASA’s press release:
Subject: NASA Names Waleed Abdalati As Agency’s New Chief Scientist
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 2010 11:00:44 -0500
From: NASA News firstname.lastname@example.org
To: NASA News email@example.com
Dec. 13, 2010
NASA NAMES WALEED ABDALATI AS AGENCY’S NEW CHIEF SCIENTIST
WASHINGTON — NASA Administrator Charles Bolden has named Waleed
Abdalati the agency’s chief scientist, effective Jan. 3. Abdalati
will serve as the principal adviser to the NASA administrator on
agency science programs, strategic planning and the evaluation of
Abdalati is currently the director of the Earth Science and
Observation Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He also
is an associate professor in the university’s geography department.
Between 1998 and 2008, Abdalati held various positions at NASA in the
areas of scientific research, program management and scientific
management. His research has focused on the study of polar ice cover
using satellite and airborne instruments. He has led or participated
in nine field and airborne campaigns in the Arctic and the Antarctic.
Abdalati will represent all of the scientific endeavors in the agency,
ensuring they are aligned with and fulfill the administration’s
science objectives. He will advocate for NASA science in the context
of those broader government science agendas and work closely with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Office of Management and Budget.
“We are excited to have Waleed return to the agency during such a
critical transition period,” Bolden said. “His experience, wide-range
of scientific knowledge and familiarity with NASA will greatly
benefit the agency. He will be a true advocate for our many and
diverse science research and exploration programs.”
During his first tenure at NASA, Abdalati served as the head of the
Cryospheric Sciences Branch at the agency’s Goddard Space Flight
Center in Greenbelt, Md. He also managed the Cryospheric Sciences
Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington.
Abdalati is a fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in
Environmental Sciences, a joint venture between the University of
Colorado at Boulder and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration. His research examines how and why the Earth’s ice
cover is changing and what those changes mean for life on our planet.
Abdalati received a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from
Syracuse University in 1986, a Master of Science in aerospace
engineering sciences from the University of Colorado in 1991, and a
doctorate in 1996 from the Department of Geography at the University
of Colorado, where he was one of the first graduates of the
university’s Program in Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences.
He has published more than 50 peer-reviewed papers, book chapters, and NASA-related technical reports, with approximately 1,500 citations in the peer-reviewed literature. Abdalati has received numerous awards
for his research and service to NASA, including the Presidential
Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, a NASA Exceptional
Achievement Medal, and two NASA Group Achievement Awards.
Tags: affirmative action, Arab, Charles S. Bolden, chief scientist, ice clouds, Muslim, NASA, Obama, Waleed Abdalati