[Bolden Reacts To Reports of His Impending NASA Nomination]
WASHINGTON — U.S. President Barack Obama's science adviser told Congress May 14 a NASA administrator will be announced "very shortly," and government and industry sources said the top choice for the job is retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Charlie Bolden, a former astronaut who served as a NASA assistant deputy administrator in the early 1990s.
However, reached by phone May 15, Bolden told Space News he had not been asked to take the job and had no plans to meet with White House officials to discuss it.
"I am hearing the rumors, and as far as I know there is no truth in the rumors," Bolden said. "You can't say 'yes' or 'no' when you haven't had a conversation. I haven't had that conversation and I don't have one scheduled."
NASA has been without an administrator since Obama took office Jan. 20. The vacancy has been a source of frustration for some members of Congress as NASA faces critical decisions about retiring the space shuttle and its future in human spaceflight.
John Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, tried to reassure lawmakers during a House Science and Technology Committee hearing that Obama recognizes the need to select a NASA chief.
"I have reason for optimism that the president will be naming an administrator for NASA very shortly and that will put at least that concern to rest, because I think it will be an outstanding person," Holdren said. "The concern has been to get the right person for the job, and the fact that we don't have one now is not for lack of effort ... cont. at the link above"