Rick Nybakken is the Director for the Office of Safety and Mission Success at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Before becoming Director, he served as the Deputy Director for the Office of Safety and Mission Success. Previously, he was the Project Manager for the Juno Mission to Jupiter during operations (leading to successful Jupiter Orbit Insertion in July 2016) and the Deputy Project Manager for the Juno Mission during development (leading to launch in August 2011).
Since joining JPL in 1983, Mr. Nybakken has held several other engineering and management positions at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory including Division Manager and Deputy Division Manager for the Mission Assurance Engineering Office, Contract Technical Manager for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter system development contract, and Project Element Manager for radar and communications subsystem developments on SeaWinds, QuikScat, and Cassini.
Mr. Nybakken has significant experience in project management, mission assurance engineering and subsystem development. He is the recipient of two NASA Outstanding Leadership Medals and the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal as well as numerous NASA group achievement awards. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electronic Engineering from the California State Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo.