Abdalati, who held various positions at NASA between 1998 and 2008 in the areas of scientific research, program management and scientific management, will ensure all the agency's science activities are aligned with and fulfill the Obama administration's science objectives, the agency said in a release Tuesday.
Abdalati is currently the director of the Earth Science and Observation Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder and an associate professor in the university's geography department.
"We are excited to have Waleed return to the agency during such a critical transition period," NASA Administrator Charles 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."
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 geography department at the University of Colorado.