CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Sept. 12 (UPI) -- NASA has announced that Deputy Director of the Kennedy Space Center, William Parsons will become the center's director effective in January.
Parsons succeeds James Kennedy, who is retiring.
As space shuttle program manager, Parsons led the return-to-flight activities for the agency, playing a major role in the success of the Discovery STS-114 mission.
His first stint as NASA's Stennis Space Center director came in August 2002 after initially being assigned to Stennis in 1997 as the chief of operations of the Propulsion Test Directorate. Parsons relocated to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston to become the director of the Center Operations Directorate. He later served as the deputy director of Johnson.
He returned to Stennis in 2001 to become director of the Operations and Support Directorate.
In 1990, Parsons moved to Kennedy as a launch site support manager and also worked as an executive management intern and later as the shuttle flow director. In 1996, he became manager of Kennedy's Space Station Hardware Integration Office.
He holds a bachelor's degree in engineering from the University of Mississippi and a master's degree in engineering management from the University of Central Florida.