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OPPA Leadership

Elsayed R. Talaat

Director of OPPA

NESDIS Office of Projects, Planning, and Analysis

Elsayed TalaatDr. Elsayed R. Talaat serves as the Director of the Office of Projects, Planning, and Analysis (OPPA) for NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service. In this role, he provides leadership and oversight of the development, acquisition, integration, installation, and acceptance of major system elements (spacecraft, instruments, launch services, and ground systems) for NOAA's operational environmental satellite systems. In support of these activities, he oversees the requirements definition studies, conceptual and detailed engineering design and overall systems planning.

Before joining NOAA, Dr. Talaat was the Chief Scientist of the Heliophysics Division at NASA Headquarters. In this role, he directed overall development efforts for the Heliophysics space science program in Solar, Heliopsheric, Magnetospheric, and Ionospheric, Thermospheric, and Mesospheric physics. Previously, he was a Program Scientist at NASA Headquarters where he served as Program Scientist for the Living With a Star mission and science line, grant research lines and Heliophysics and Planetary missions.

Before joining NASA, he was Supervisor of the Earth and Planetary Atmospheres Section at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) where his research was focused on developing remote sensing techniques and data analysis and modeling of geophysical and planetary phenomena. At APL, Dr. Talaat also served as Deputy Project Scientist on NASA‘s TIMED (Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics) mission, lead of the APL Super Dual Auroral Radar Network group, principal investigator of the NASA Wallops high frequency radar and Sondrestrom meridian scanning spectrograph, and as Chief Scientist on two Greece/ESA missions in development.

Dr. Talaat received his B.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering from the University of Washington, and an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in Atmospheric and Space Sciences. He is author/co-author of over 60 journal papers and over 250 conference papers.

 


 

Richard Ullman

Deputy Director of OPPA

NESDIS Office of Projects, Planning, and Analysis

Richard UllmanRichard Ullman is the Deputy Director of the NESDIS Office of Projects, Planning and Analysis. In this role, he assists the OPPA Director in overseeing the the development, acquisition, integration, installation, and acceptance of major system elements (spacecraft, instruments, launch services, and ground services) for NOAA’s operational environmental satellite systems. In support of these activities, he also assists the OPPA Director in overseeing requirements definition studies, conceptual and detailed engineering design and overall systems planning.

Mr. Ullman joined NOAA in 2013 as Deputy Chief of OPPA’s Program Management and Execution Division and he has been a key team member in NOAA's oversight of the COSMIC-2, DSCOVR, MetOP-C and Jason-3 missions. Before joining OPPA, Richard spent twenty five years at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center working in Earth Science Data Systems engineering and development, including supporting both our JPSS and GOES-R programs. Richard was the JPSS data products engineering lead for the development and deployment of the NPP GRAVITE calibration/validation support system and he served as data products systems engineer and data products deputy division chief prior to the JPSS program transition. Before that he served as a lead systems engineer for the GOES-R ground project during the systems requirements definition phase.

Mr. Ullman has a Master of Science in computer engineering from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Science in physics from Dickinson College.

 


 

Jim Silva

PMED Division Chief

Project Management and Execution Division

Jim SilvaJim Silva is the Chief of the Project Management and Execution Division (PMED). The Division is responsible for oversight of the implementation phase of several important satellite and ground systems programs. For the satellite programs, this phase includes design, fabrication, integration, test, launch and on-orbit evaluation of our space assets.

As Chief, Jim has overall lead for executing the following projects: COSMIC-2, INDEC (including ScatSat), Metop C, NOAA's Metop Second Generation Product Processing and Archive, Geo Hosting, CDARS, Radio Occultation Missions of Opportunity, and POES Legacy. He has been with NOAA for over 36 years, mostly leading projects within the Office of Projects, Planning and Analysis. Jim was the NOAA instrument manager for the POES sensors on the NOAA KLM satellites in the 1980's. Later, he went on to manage two ground systems; one to assess NOAA's requirements for processing and distributing Jason 1 altimetry data, the other to exploit the Suomi NPP data for NOAA and other civilian and military users.

Jim has a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology from Penn State and a Master of Science degree in Engineering Management from the University of Maryland. He received three medals while working for NOAA, and is a graduate of OPM's Executive Leadership training: Leadership for a Democratic Society. He and his wife have a teenage son.

 


Doug Whiteley

ROPPD Division Chief

Research to Operations and Project Planning

 

Doug WhiteleyDoug Whiteley is the Division Chief of the Research to Operations and Project Planning Division (ROPPD). As Chief of ROPPD, Doug oversees pre-formulation and early formulation for new satellite systems as well as the execution of studies for project alternatives, such as foreign partnerships leveraging data and/or instrument exchanges, small-sats, payload hosting, commercial alternatives, and technology maturation to identify specific potential solutions to NESDIS top-level requirements.

Doug joined NOAA in March 1998 and has worked in multiple offices across NESDIS serving in various capacities in support of satellite operations, satellite program acquisition, and international partnerships. From 1998 to 2006, Doug worked in the Office of Satellite Operations (now Office of Satellite and Product Operations, OSPO) first as a satellite subsystem engineer for the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) and later as the engineering Team Lead overseeing all aspects of DMSP flight and ground operations. In 2006, he transferred to the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) Program Office to be the government’s Command, Control and Communications (C3S) Segment Integrated Product Team (IPT) Lead. As IPT lead he oversaw the development and delivery of command and control, terrestrial and space data networking, ground receptor placement and installation, and international collaboration. In 2010, Doug joined the Office of Systems Development (OSD, now OPPA) and has worked the formulation and execution of various flight and ground projects (COSMIC-2, Jason-3, DSCOVR) as well as with interagency and international projects (DFS, Oceansat 2, GCOM-W) in capacities ranging from Senior Engineer, Project Manager and Branch Chief, up to Deputy Director of the office.

Prior to Joining NOAA, Doug worked on NASA & NOAA flight projects such LANDSAT 4&5, the High Speed Photometer (HSP) on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) I-M program in various roles providing pre and post launch and operations engineering support.

With over 30 years of experience in the fields of spacecraft operations and acquisition, Doug is well versed in project management and systems engineering as well as office budget and resource management. He is a graduate of NOAA’s Leadership Competencies Program (LCDP), a competitive 18 month course that builds leadership acumen, as well as OPM’s Leadership for a Democratic Society. Doug holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park.