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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — A NASA veteran will take over as the new director of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in February.

The Alabama Space Science Exhibit Commission announced Kimberly Robinson as the new executive director and CEO.

Robinson is a 31-year veteran of NASA and is currently NASA’s utilization manager for advanced exploration systems. She has also worked as payload mission manager for Artemis I, the first integrated flight test of NASA’s Orion spacecraft, the Space Launch System rocket and the Exploration Ground Systems at Kennedy Space Center.

Robinson has a Ph.D. and master’s degrees in engineering management and systems engineering from UAH, and got her undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Vanderbilt University. She also serves as vice president for the animal rescue group A New Leash on Life.

Robinson replaces Deborah Barnhart, who resigned in December 2019.

Louie Ramirez, who has served as executive director and CEO since Barnhart’s departure, will stay at the USSRC part-time to help Robinson transition into her new role, officials said.