As the Program Integration Lead for External Partnerships within the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) at NASA Headquarters, Dr. Kubendran serves as the senior NASA official responsible for STMD’s partnership engagement strategy, and is responsible for conducting commercial market research to further commercial content development across all STMD Programs; developing priorities based on availability of commercial technologies and resources, coupled with associated NASA priorities; leading STMD’s Flagship Partnership Mechanisms: Tipping Point Solicitation and Announcement of Collaboration Opportunity; identifying how business accelerators and other innovative mechanisms fit into STMD’s overall commercial engagement. His previous STMD roles include Portfolio Executive for Commercial Partnerships Portfolio, Program Executive for SBIR/STTR, and Program Executive for Flight Opportunities.
Dr. Kubendran joined NASA in 2006 and held several leadership roles at the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center (AFRC): SBIR/STTR Technology Infusion Manager, Deputy Director for Safety & Mission Assurance, Acting Director for Research and Engineering, and Acting Deputy Associate Center Director for Operations. He started his career as a research scientist at Analytical Services & Materials, Inc. (AS&M) in 1986, rose to the rank of Senior Vice President in 1995, and served as the program manager for the AFRC engineering and technical services contract until 2006. Under his leadership, AS&M received the NASA G.M. Low Award for Quality and Excellence Trophy (2002) and the Small Business Administration Prime Contractor of the Year (2006). Dr. Kubendran received his Bachelor of Technology in Aeronautical Engineering from IIT-Madras, MS and PhD in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech, and an Executive MBA from UCLA. He is an Associate Fellow of AIAA.