Mr. Joseph Pelfrey
Joseph Pelfrey has been named manager of the Human Exploration Development & Operations Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.
Pelfrey, who had been deputy manager of the office since fall 2018, succeeds Bobby Watkins, who retired from NASA service Oct. 30. Pelfrey is responsible for managing and implementing Marshall’s work portfolio in the areas of human exploration and transportation projects; habitation systems, payload and mission operations and integration; and project development and integration for International Space Station payloads, facilities, and environmental control and life support systems.
Pelfrey, who was previously a Teledyne Brown contractor supporting development of space station payload hardware, joined NASA as a civil servant in 2004. He initially was an aerospace engineer in the Science and Mission Systems Office, and held multiple leadership roles within the space station program, leading the development, integration, and operations of multiple payload facilities and science experiments.
In 2008, he moved to Marshall's Engineering Directorate to become the design integration lead for the Ares I Upper Stage, a rocket development program that would inform development of NASA’s Space Launch System. In 2011, he was named engineering task manager for the SLS Spacecraft/Payload Integration and Evolution Office, and subsequently managed Marshall’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services Program.
Pelfrey was named deputy manager in 2012, and manager in 2015, of the Exploration and Space Transportation Development Office, part of Marshall’s Flight Programs and Partnerships Office. Appointed in 2016 to the Senior Executive Service – the personnel system covering most top managerial, supervisory, and policy positions in the executive branch of the federal government – Pelfrey spent two years as associate director for operations of Marshall's Engineering Directorate, overseeing budget, workforce planning, and infrastructure.
A native of Cheraw, South Carolina, Pelfrey received a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering in 2000 from Auburn University in Alabama. He and his wife, Nicole, and their daughter live in Huntsville.