Kurt Vogel

Dr. Kurt Vogel

Associate Administrator, Space Technology Mission Directorate

Dr. Kurt “Spuds” Vogel is the associate administrator for the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) at NASA Headquarters in Washington, a position he has served since Jan. 16, 2024. In this role, he oversees executive leadership, strategic planning, and management of all technology maturation and demonstration programs executed under the directorate’s $1.2 billion budget.

Before leading STMD, Vogel served as director of space architectures within the Office of the Administrator. Arriving at NASA in July 2021, he led multiple space architecture efforts, including the development of the Moon to Mars Strategy and Objectives, forming the agency’s ⁠blueprint for long-term, human-led scientific discovery in deep space. He also served as chair of NASA’s Agency Cross-Directorate Federated Board, whose purpose is to ensure NASA’s focus is integrated with common strategic goals and direction across the agency’s mission directorates.   

Vogel has more than 34 years of U.S. government service, primarily in the Defense Department, as a technical leader, senior program manager, and chief technologist.

Prior to joining NASA, Vogel served six years at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), leading innovative research across a portfolio of classified, state-of-the-art, high-risk programs spanning multiple DARPA offices.

From 2008 until 2015, Vogel led research and development at the Air Force Research Lab’s Systems Technology Office, where he directed a Defense Department science and technology portfolio. He also served as the acting chief technologist for the National Reconnaissance Office’s Survivability Assurance Office.

Vogel retired from active duty in 2010 after serving in the air and space domains during a 21-year career as an officer in the United States Air Force. During his service, he led the USAF Red Team and served as chief technology officer for the Next Generation Bomber program. Vogel also is an Air Force Test Pilot School graduate, having flown over 40 different aircraft as a flight test engineer and civilian pilot.

He holds a Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Science in astronautical engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s in astronautical engineering from the United States Air Force Academy. He is a member of the national engineering and aerospace engineering honor societies.

Related Sessions

Mission Success is a Team Sport at NASA

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

3:45 pm - 4:30 pm