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Golden, Colo., March 25, 1997 -- Admiral Richard H. Truly, former National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Administrator, today was named Director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) by Midwest Research Institute President and Chief Executive Officer John McKelvey.
Midwest Research Institute (MRI) operates and manages NREL for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
"As former head of NASA, Richard Truly brings a distinguished career of research management to the leadership of NREL," said DOE Secretary Federico Peña. "His leadership and experience will be critical to advancing renewable energy technologies and diversifying the nation's energy resources now and for future generations."
"We are pleased to have Dick Truly join our NREL management team," McKelvey said. "He brings a strong background in research management and direct experience in the renewable energy field. His years of experience in working with federal government agencies also will be a valuable asset as NREL begins its second 20 years."
"At NASA and Georgia Tech I have been involved in several of the nation's most exciting research endeavors," Truly said. "To join NREL's scientists and researchers is a wonderful opportunity which I genuinely look forward to. NREL and MRI have an immensely important mission with special opportunities to affect the future of people and society."
Truly was NASA Administrator from May 1989 to March 1992. Previously he had been chosen to lead the investigation of the Space Shuttle Challenger accident and the program's return to flight. In 1989 he retired after 30 years of service from the U.S. Navy with the rank of Vice Admiral.
Since 1992 he has been director of the Georgia Tech Research Institute and vice president of his alma mater, the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Georgia Tech and the Georgia Tech Research Institute have been among the leaders in renewable energy research since the 1970s.
Truly's career began in 1959 when he joined the U.S. Navy as naval aviator. In 1965, he became one of the first military astronauts for the U.S. Air Force's Manned Orbiting Laboratory program. In 1969 he became a NASA astronaut, later piloting the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1981 and then commanding the Challenger in 1983.
A native of Mississippi, Truly has a bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering and received the prestigious Presidential Citizen's Medal in 1989.
NREL, the nation's leading laboratory for renewable energy research and technology development, marks 20 years of clean energy research on its anniversary July 5, 1997. MRI, headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., is a not-for-profit research organization that conducts contract research for public and private sector clients. The Institute has managed NREL since the facility opened in 1977.