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NOAA Environmental Leadership Seminar Series: Past Presentations

Embracing the Chaos: Lessons Learned from Organization Change in NOAA's National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS)

by Katie Poser on 2021-05-12T09:48:00-04:00 in National Environment, Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) | 0 Comments

Slides: Leadership Series by Ajay Mehta_Embracing the Chaos.pdf

Date: May 11, 2021

Speaker: Ajay Mehta, Acting Director, Office of Satellite Ground Services (OSGS), in NOAA's Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS)

Abstract: Change is a constant in our life and while we may be able to control some aspects of it in our personal lives, for most of us it's almost impossible to control in our professional life. This lack of control, the fact our organizations and missions are constantly evolving, and our natural tendency to maintain an equilibrium, can make organizational change very stressful. There are processes we have to go through to adapt to change, and lessons to be learned from our experiences. This presentation provides an overview of some organizational changes within NESDIS, the associated challenges, and key lessons learned. NESDIS’ mission has evolved over time as the value of satellite data to NOAA’s mission service areas has increased. Today, NESDIS’s products and services touch nearly every mission service area, and the long term record allows for monitoring essential climate parameters. The sources for these space-based observations are also evolving; with our partners and the commercial sector playing a larger role. This evolution has required the NESDIS organization to also evolve to keep pace with technologies, budgets, stakeholder needs, and industrial capability and capacity.

Bio: Ajay Mehta has served in numerous leadership and management positions in the private and public sectors. Currently he is leading the Office of Satellite Ground Services (OSGS) within NOAA's Satellite and Information Service (NESDIS). In this role he is responsible for leading the transformation, and transition of the organization's capabilities to the cloud, overseeing development and sustainment of enterprise on-premise systems, and implementing an enterprise wide product portfolio management program. His previous responsibilities included performing in the role of the Deputy Assistant Administrator for Systems, where he was responsible for providing oversight of NOAA's satellite acquisition programs by evaluating cost, schedule and performance of its $1.3 billion/year Earth and space weather satellite portfolio. He has represented NESDIS on a number of national and internal fora, including joint NOAA and NASA governance boards. He has also served as the Deputy Director for the Joint Polar Satellite System, an $18.9 billion program providing essential observations for the Nation's weather forecasting enterprise, and as the Deputy Director of the Office of Satellite and Product Operations where he was responsible for managing five Divisions comprising more than 300 civil servants and 250 contractors. His responsibilities included overseeing the command and control of civil and defense weather satellites; development and dissemination of weather and environmental products and services to national and international users; and management of facilities across the country.

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