In May 2016, Nelson Parker was named the an Ombudsman for the civilian rocketry and spacecraft propulsion research center in Huntsville, Alabama, the largest NASA center. He replaces Pam Caruso, who retired in early 2016, and joins Susan Cloud to serve more than 7,000 government and contract employees at NASA's largest center.
Parker, continues as Marshall's Deputy Chief Engineer, and takes on the collateral duty as an Ombuds, a model followed throughout NASA. An article in the the center's newsletter introduces his new role as the Ombuds.
Parker ... said he does enjoy the role, and is eager to raise awareness of the free, confidential issue-resolution service it offers. "It's an opportunity to help people, which is the most rewarding job you can take on in any career," he said. "Certainly, the privilege of being associated with an exceptional group of chief engineers, working to solve complex technical issues across multiple projects, is rewarding as well, but in that environment, it can be hard to look back and confidently say, 'I made a difference today.' When you spend time helping people resolve difficult situations, however, there's no question. That's something special."
Parker has worked at NASA since 1975 and has held a number of key posts. He graduated from Shepherd College and earned a master's degree in administrative science from the University of Alabama in Huntsville.