[CMC] RE: CMC - Mike Kearney Retirement

peter.allan at stfc.ac.uk peter.allan at stfc.ac.uk
Tue Dec 23 13:57:01 UTC 2014

Mike, this is a big surprise. It is truly the end of an era. You have been the guiding light for CCSDS for longer than I can remember and you are going to be a difficult act to follow. You brought just the right mixture of clear thinking and good humour to the team and we have greatly benefited from this.

Apart from CCSDS, one terrific achievement of yours must surely be the SpaceOps conference at Huntsville. I always enjoy SpaceOps, but that one really stands out as exceptionally well run and a joy to attend.

I suppose I expected you to go on forever, but none of us can do that. I wish you a long and happy retirement and I do hope that I will have the opportunity to see you again in your "afterlife".

Season's greetings

Peter Allan

From: cmc-bounces at mailman.ccsds.org [mailto:cmc-bounces at mailman.ccsds.org] On Behalf Of Kearney, Mike W. (MSFC-EO01)
Sent: 23 December 2014 00:43
To: CCSDS Management Council (CMC at mailman.ccsds.org)
Cc: Nestor.Peccia at esa.int; Nichols, Kelvin F. (MSFC-EO50); Tai, Wallace S (JPL-9000)[Jet Propulsion Laboratory]; Afarin, James (HQ-LS00)
Subject: [CMC] CMC - Mike Kearney Retirement

Greetings to my CMC colleagues.

I'm afraid I have some news.  I am retiring from NASA.  My last day working for NASA will be January 2.

I apologize for the abrupt nature of this announcement.  In early December, NASA MSFC announced a Retirement Incentives program, and candidates had to decide on their application by December 15.  I applied then, but I was advised not to announce this possibility until it was approved.  I just received approval last Friday Dec 19, and inexplicably, my computer decided right then that it would crash.  I've spent this morning watching tech support work on my computer which is now more-or-less restored.  So my first priority was to get this message out.

I am leaving my CCSDS work in extremely good hands.  James Afarin at NASA HQ will immediately assume the role of NASA delegate to CCSDS and the CMC.  The Secretariat day-to-day management and the MSFC lead will be Kelvin Nichols.

As my last act as CCSDS Management Council chair, I nominate James Afarin to be my replacement as CMC Chairman and General Secretary.  James has been following my role and actively participating in the CMC for several years now and has a great handle on the current projects and issues, and our long-standing processes.  NASA has traditionally held this role because of the tight integration that is required between the NASA-funded Secretariat and the CMC Chairman, and I expect that the CMC will recognize that such integration needs to continue.  As you know, this has been key to the improvements in CCSDS project management capabilities that we have effected over the last several years (e.g. the framework resources, the online strategic plan, etc.).  I will leave it for discussion in the CMC as to whether an online poll is needed to confirm the next CMC chair.

I can't express the sadness with which I leave the CCSDS teams, both technical and management.  I was actually eligible for full retirement from NASA ten years ago, and the criticality and excitement of the CCSDS work and the pleasure of working with my CMC and CCSDS colleagues were the driving factors in my annual decision to continue working for NASA.  Even now it is a difficult decision, but the way the math works out, it's obvious that retirement now is best for my family situation.

While nothing is certain, it is entirely possible that I will be able to continue participating in some CCSDS role in my "afterlife" of NASA retirement.  But in case that doesn't happen, I want to say that working on the CCSDS program has he most rewarding experience of my career.  CCSDS is developing capabilities that will be needed for virtually all of mankind's future spaceflight programs and international spaceflight ventures.  You and your CCSDS colleagues from your agencies are performing a function that is extremely critical and grossly under-recognized (ergo under-funded).  I hope that this improves for CCSDS in the future.  And I thank all of you as individuals for the collegial working relationship and the friendship that was demonstrated during our time together with CCSDS.

All the best wishes for you and your teammates as CCSDS moves forward to even greater accomplishments.  And all the best wishes for you and your families in the upcoming holiday season.

Best regards,

   -=- Mike

Mike Kearney
CCSDS Chairman and General Secretary
Mail Code EO-01
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
Huntsville, Alabama  35803, USA
Mike.Kearney at nasa.gov<mailto:Mike.Kearney at nasa.gov>

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