Former Director of NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center
William W. (Bill) Parsons was the ninth director of NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where he manages a team of approximately 2,100 NASA civil service employees and 15,000 contractor employees. Prior to this appointment, he served as Kennedy's deputy director and as the director of NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.
In 1990, Parsons joined the NASA team at Kennedy as a launch site support manager in the Shuttle Operations Directorate. He also worked as an executive management intern, and later, as a shuttle flow director in the Shuttle Operations Directorate at Kennedy. In 1996, he became manager of the Space Station Hardware Integration Office at the center.
In 1997, he was assigned to Stennis Space Center as the chief of operations of the Propulsion Test Directorate. Parsons relocated to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston to become the director of the Center Operations Directorate. He later served as the deputy director. In 2001, he returned to Stennis and served as director of the Center Operations and Support Directorate. His first stint as Stennis center director came in August 2002.
He was appointed as Space Shuttle Program manager in 2003 to lead the return-to-flight activities for the agency and played a major role in the success of the Discovery STS-114 mission. He then returned to Stennis to assume the duties of center director again and to lead hurricane recovery efforts at Stennis and the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.
Parsons has received numerous honors including the Presidential Rank Award (Meritorious Executive); NASA's Exceptional Service Medal and Distinguished Service Medal; the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement; and the Silver Snoopy, awarded by astronauts for outstanding performance in flight safety and mission success.
He holds a bachelor's degree in engineering from the University of Mississippi and a master's degree in engineering management from the University of Central Florida.