James Ortiz is the Director of the Independent Program Assessment Office (IPAO) within the Office of Evaluation at NASA Headquarters. As Director of the IPAO, he has responsibility over the independent assessment of the Agency’s high priority spaceflight projects including the technical content along with the adequacy of the cost, schedule, management and overall risk posture to ensure that they are on a path to mission success.
Dr. Ortiz joined NASA at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) in July 1990 from the U.S. Air Force where he served as flight test engineer for electronic warfare systems on high performance aircraft. During his career at NASA, Dr. Ortiz has held several technical and executive assignments including Head for International Space Station Astronaut and Flight Controller Training; Senior NASA Research Exchange Engineer with the Air Force Research Laboratory in New Mexico; Chief of the Advanced Projects Office; and Manager of the Office of Analysis and Assessment reporting to the JSC Center Director. He later served as Deputy Manager for Integrated Avionics and Software for the next human space exploration vehicle, the Orion project. Dr. Ortiz also led the design certification of the Space Shuttle fleet for return to flight after the Columbia accident.
Dr. Ortiz holds a PhD in EE from the University of Houston, a ME in EE from the University of Florida, and a MS in Systems Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. He holds a BS in EE from Los Andes University in Colombia, South America. Dr. Ortiz is a graduate of the Senior Manager’s in Government Program at the Kennedy School at Harvard University.
Dr. Ortiz is a member of the US Government Senior Executive Service.