In this episode of Rural Health Leadership Radio, we’re talking about how being self-aware and responding to failure can allow us to become successful leaders with Johnny Stephenson, Director of the Office of Strategic Analysis and Communication at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
“Resilience starts with, are we able to look at ourselves and honestly gauge what have we done well and what have we not done so well.”
Johnny F. Stephenson Jr. is director of the Office of Strategic Analysis & Communications at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. He also leads an organization providing strategic planning, objective analysis, and comprehensive communications to support the policy, program, and budget decisions for Marshall. In April 2015, Stephenson was appointed to the Senior Executive Service, the personnel system covering top managerial positions in federal agencies.
He was deputy director of OSAC from 2008 to 2015. In 2008, he was manager of Marshall's Performance and Capabilities Management Office in OSAC, where he led his team in analyzing Marshall's capabilities and performance in the execution of its missions. From 2002 to 2007, he served at NASA Headquarters in Washington, as chief architect and implementation lead for One NASA, and then the director of organizational readiness for the Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation. Stephenson began his career at NASA in 1986 when he joined the student co-op program, as a systems engineer in Marshall's Engineering Directorate where he served in several managerial capacities until 2002.
Stephenson earned a bachelor's degree in engineering in 1987 from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He has received numerous awards throughout his NASA career including the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the highest award bestowed by the Agency, NASA Exceptional Service Medal, NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, and the NASA Silver Snoopy Award. He is a contributing author of the book "Organization at the Limit: Lessons from the Columbia Disaster," which extracts lessons from the space shuttle Columbia accident for application in high-risk organizations.
He and his wife, Sonja, live in Moulton and have two children.