Assistant Administrator for Satellite
and Information Services
Dr. Stephen Volz is the NOAA Assistant Administrator for Satellite and Information Services. NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service is dedicated to providing timely access to global environmental data from satellites and other sources to promote, protect and enhance the Nation’s economy, security, environment and quality of life. In this role Dr. Volz leads the acquisition and operation of the nation’s civil operational environmental satellite system. He also leads efforts for research and development of products and programs to archive and provide access to a variety of Earth observations via three national data centers.
Dr. Volz is a leader in the international Earth observation community, serving as the NOAA Principal to the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS). In this capacity he leads efforts to coordinate global satellite-based observations among international space agency partners to further the development of a Global Earth Observation System of Systems. In addition, Dr. Volz serves as the Co-Chair of the NOAA Observing Systems Council, a group that coordinates observing systems requirements and provides resource recommendations for NOAA’s observation platforms. He is also a member of the NOAA Executive Council, NOAA’s executive decision-making body.
Dr. Volz previously served as the Associate Director for Flight Programs in the Earth Science Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. As the Program Director, Dr. Volz managed all of NASA’s Earth Science flight missions and associated activities. Within this flight portfolio, Dr. Volz managed a line of Principle Investigator (PI) led missions in airborne science, small satellites, and instrument missions of opportunity, including the development of the Announcements of Opportunity to solicit the science and mission proposals, along with their subsequent evaluation and selection. Steve managed within the flight program a suite of Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs) that process, distribute, and archive all of NASA’s Earth science data, as well as the science research data products developed from these and other satellite remote-sensing data. Dr. Volz worked with domestic and international space agencies to actively support and promote partnerships and collaboration to further NASA and the nation’s Earth science remote-sensing objectives, and to maximize the beneficial utilization of NASA’s Earth science data.
Dr. Volz has 26 years professional experience in aerospace. Prior to serving as the Flight Program Director, Dr. Volz was the Earth Science program executive for a series of Earth Science missions, including EO-3 GIFTS, CloudSat, CALIPSO, and ICESat, and he led the Senior Review for the Earth Science operating missions. Dr. Volz worked in industry at Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation from 1997–2002, where he was the Project Manager for the Space Infrared Telescope Facility superfluid helium cryostat and other flight projects. From 1986–1997 Dr. Volz worked for NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center as an instrument manager, an I&T Manager, a systems engineer, and a cryogenic systems engineer on missions and instruments including the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE), among others.
Dr. Volz is a member of several professional societies, including the American Physical Society (M’82), the American Astronomical Society (M’87), the American Geophysical Union (M’02), and the American Meteorological Society (M’08). He is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), an active member of and participant in the Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society (GRSS), and a member of the GRSS Administration Committee (AdCom) for the period of 2013–2017. He is the recipient of several awards, including the Silver Snoopy Award from NASA’s astronaut team in 1994 for his work as the instrument manager and team lead for the Space Shuttle cross bay mounted Superfluid Helium On Orbit Transfer (SHOOT) experiment, the Goddard Space Flight Center John Boeckel Award for Engineering Excellence (1992), and the Ball Corporation Award of Excellence from the Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation (BATC) in 2001.
Dr. Volz has a doctorate in Experimental Condensed Matter Physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1986), a master’s in Physics from Illinois (1981), and a bachelor’s in Physics from the University of Virginia (1980). He has more than 20 publications in peer-reviewed journals.
Dr. Volz is a native-born Washingtonian, and lives in Bethesda with his wife Beth and his two teenage daughters.
Mark S. Paese
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Satellite
and Information Services
Mark S. Paese is currently serving as the NESDIS Assistant Chief Information Officer.
Mark Paese serves as the Deputy Assistant Administrator for Satellite and Information Services, National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In this capacity, he provides day-to-day oversight of the activities of NESDIS' satellite operations, data processing, product and service delivery and research functions. He also has oversight responsibilities of the NESDIS budget planning and administration.
Mark previously served as the Director of the Office of Operational Systems for NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) where he was responsible for the day-to-day operations and management of NWS systems, providing systems engineering, software management, facilities, communications, configuration management and logistical services. He was also responsible for policy development,implementation, operations, support and evaluation of operational weather systems.
Mark has 30 years of experience in all facets of weather, communications and aviation, including 12 years in private industry. He has broad experience in leading science-based service organizations, introducing change, and using and implementing technology and science.
Previously, Mark held senior positions at Booz, Allen & Hamilton, and prior to that with Westinghouse Electric Corporation. While in the private sector, he was responsible for systems engineering, operations and maintenance, acquisition, program management, strategic planning and business development.
Mark has also served as the Executive Director of the White House Task Force on Effective Warnings. His efforts resulted in the President signing the Executive Order 13407: Public Alert and Warning Systems. Mark also served on the FCC's Commercial Mobile Service Alert Advisory Committee - charged with examining existing and planned disaster warning systems - resulting in today's Wireless Emergency Alert capability. In addition, he serves as a member of numerous delegations at international governmental summits and conferences, including the U.S. delegation to World Radiocommunication Conferences and the World Meteorological Organization. Mark is a recipient of the Presidential Rank Award, four Department of Commerce Bronze Medal Awards and a NOAA Administrator Award.
Thomas F. Burns
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Systems
Dr. Thomas F. Burns was appointed the Deputy Assistant Administrator for Systems (DAAS) in the National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Systems (NESDIS) organization of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), effective July 1, 2013. In this capacity, Dr. Burns is responsible for the acquisition of the nation's weather satellite systems, a national mission in support of America's civil, environmental and defense needs, as well as international partnerships. Dr. Burns came to NOAA with over thirty years of experience in the space business in both industry and government. From 1981 to 1990, he worked at TRW in Redondo Beach, CA, supporting government satellite and ground system projects, including Peacekeeper Missile, Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) and other national defense programs. In 1990, Dr. Burns entered on duty as a government civilian supporting the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), where he worked for over twenty-two years. He began his government career in applied technology development, with a focus on structures, mechanisms and sensors, before advancing into program management in the realm of large, complex national space systems. In 2002, Dr. Burns was appointed Program Director of a critical national space program in which he delivered to orbit several high performance observation payloads. Dr. Burns served as Mission Success Executive from 2008 to 2012, were he oversaw enterprise mission assurance and independent assessment functions. He led or served on over a dozen high profile independent review teams, including the assessments of cost effectiveness, major program viability, operational failures and major milestone readiness. Dr. Burns is the recipient of the NRO Medal of Distinguished Service and the Dr. Joseph V. Charyk award for achievement at the NRO.
Dr. Burns earned Bachelor and Masters degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Notre Dame and a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Southern California, where his research centered on spacecraft attitude control. He enjoys spending time with his family and distance running, having completed over twenty marathons.