Dr. Kurt Vogel

Director of Space Architectures

Dr. Kurt “Spuds” Vogel is the Director of Space Architectures in the Office of the Administrator at NASA Headquarters in Washington DC.  He was appointed to the position and sworn in by Deputy NASA Administrator Pam Melroy on 19 July 2021.

Dr. Vogel comes to NASA with over 32 years of U.S. government service, primarily in the Defense Department, as a technical leader, senior program manager, and chief technologist.

Prior to his NASA appointment, Dr. Vogel served 6 years at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) leading innovative research in stealth technology, electronic warfare, air-space integration, and space control systems.  He managed a portfolio of classified, state-of-the-art, high-risk programs that spanned multiple DARPA offices, including both the Tactical Technology Office (TTO) and the Strategic Technology Office (STO).

Before joining DARPA, Dr. Vogel led research & development efforts at the Air Force Research Lab’s Systems Technology Office (AFRL STO) where he directed the Defense Department’s only science & technology portfolio, and the corresponding national tech base, for a highly-classified mission area.  He oversaw 35 emerging technology areas with the goal of protecting the DOD’s most valuable weapon systems.  He also served as the acting Chief Technologist for the National Reconnaissance Office’s Survivability Assurance Office (NRO SAO).

Dr. Vogel retired from active duty in 2010 after serving over 21 years as an Air Force officer in both the air and space domains.  He was the 8th officer to lead the USAF Red Team in its 40+ year history and was the first Red Team Chief to incorporate the space domain into the nationally-recognized team’s charter.  He is a graduate of the USAF Test Pilot School and has flown over 40 types of aircraft as a flight test engineer and civilian pilot.  He was also the Chief Technology Officer for the Next Generation Bomber program, and led the production acceptance program for all B-2’s in the U.S. inventory.

Dr. Vogel has served in a variety of other assignments that span work in U.S. foreign policy initiatives, prototype flight test, space test and operations, spacecraft design, advanced orbital dynamics, satellite operations, and other Presidentially-directed research and development programs in the air and space domains.