Lewis S. G. Braxton III, Deputy Director
Lewis S. G. Braxton III is the current deputy director at NASA’s Ames Research Center. In that capacity, Braxton serves as the government equivalent of a Chief Operating Officer with day-to-day management responsibility for a large organization with well over 3,000 civil service employees and support service contractors and an annual operating budget approaching $800 million. Braxton is a senior planning and policy strategist and leading program and mission architect for NASA Ames, one of the nation’s premiere research laboratories, whose break-through R&D and leading-edge technologies make virtually all of NASA’s and the nation’s aeronautics and space exploration missions possible.
Braxton also shares senior management responsibility for over 1,900 acres of prime Silicon Valley research and development space and a range of unique, state-of-the-art NASA facilities, including wind tunnels, arc jets, simulators, and the third fastest operational supercomputer in the world. He has management oversight for a limited-use federal airfield, one of the region’s largest, and the very innovative NASA Research Park – a bold new public-private business model leveraging taxpayer dollars to create a major R&D and education campus. Under his tutelage, Ames has already signed major agreements with Google to lease 42 acres to build up to 1.2 million sq. feet of new labs and office space, and University Associates, led by the University of California, Santa Cruz, to create a 77-acre, 3 million sq. foot world-class center for research, education, innovation and commercial development. Braxton was also a key player in Sustainability Base, helping win approval for Ames’ newest eco-friendly, high-performance building.
Braxton has thirty years of experience at NASA, starting as a co-op student accountant trainee at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center and advancing steadily up the management chain to become chief financial officer at Ames. Subsequently, he served four years as director of center operations, with lead responsibility for physical and logical security, acquisition, airfield management, logistics, facilities maintenance and engineering, fire protection, voice communications, networks, and IT workstations. He was named deputy center director in 2008.
Braxton earned degrees from the Harvard Graduate School of Business; Golden Gate University; the California State University, Fresno; and Merced Junior College. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Meritorious Executive Presidential Rank Award in 2007; NASA’s Exceptional Service Award in 1998; and a NASA Group Achievement Award for his involvement with the Dryden separation team in 1996. In 1995, Braxton received the NASA Chief Financial Officer award for development and presentation of the agency’s ‘Financial Management Crosscutting Report.’ He has been recognized in numerous group achievement awards and for his contributions to the Ames African-American Advisory Group.