Based on the report issued by the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, NASA intensified its focus on leadership development. The agency swiftly sought to reformulate its framework and strategy to achieve a more consistent and integrated approach to career and leadership development.
To assist with these transformation efforts, Congress directed the Academy to conduct an independent review of the implementation of NASA's newly acquired human capital flexibilities. As part of this work, the National Academy was to assess the agency’s revised leadership framework and strategy and suggest potential flexibilities in response to the Vision for Space Exploration.
The Academy Panel concluded that NASA was effectively implementing its current flexibilities, but that it should also develop metrics and an evaluation methodology to make a robust assessment of progress to date. The Panel also recommended NASA consider acquiring additional human capital flexibilities—such as changing the agency’s career profile for civil servants—and other measures to enhance its leadership program.