JPL Deputy Director Gen. Eugene Tattini Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

An Air Force general who leads one of the United States' largest organizations responsible for developing and fielding military space missions has been selected to become deputy director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Lt. Gen. Eugene L. Tattini, 58, commander of the Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, will join JPL in early July, announced JPL Director Dr. Charles Elachi. Tattini will succeed Larry N. Dumas, who is retiring after serving as deputy director for the past nine years.

"Gene Tattini has an imposing background in managing large, complex space programs similar to the flight projects we develop at JPL," said Elachi. "He brings to JPL a keen management ability and great depth in working with the aerospace community."

Tattini, who in moving to the Laboratory will retire from the Air Force after nearly 36 years of service, has spent a total of 12 years at the Space and Missile Systems Center managing the research, design, development and acquisition of launch systems and satellites.

"This is a natural transition for me," said Tattini. "Military space and civil space have many similarities, and the business practices, management and engineering are essentially the same."

"Gene emerged very clearly and early as a great match for JPL," said William A. Jenkins, the California Institute of Technology's executive vice president for administration who led the nationwide search to fill the position. "He stood out not only in his skills and experience, but in his values -- his non-bureaucratic, commonsense approach to management and leadership."

Born in Madison, Wisconsin, Tattini graduated from Hampton (Virginia) High School in 1961. A distinguished graduate of the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of Illinois, he entered the Air Force as a second lieutenant in 1965. During his Air Force career, he has served in various space, acquisitions and logistics assignments.

Tattini holds a bachelor's degree in industrial management from the University of Illinois and a master's degree in business administration from Oklahoma City University. His major Air Force awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal and the Humanitarian Service Medal.

Tattini and his wife, Jene, have two grown daughters.

JPL is a federally funded research and development center managed and staffed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology. In addition to being NASA's lead center for robotic exploration of the solar system, JPL has major programs in Earth sciences, astronomy and physics, and technology development.


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