After a five-year stint at NASA, Chris Kemp is stepping down as the space agency’s chief technology officer.
In a blog post Monday, Kemp said “deciding to leave NASA has not been easy, and is something I’ve been struggling with for the past few months.”
About a month ago, I mentioned to one of my mentors that “it’s a very difficult time to be an entrepreneur at NASA.” She responded “is it ever a good time to be an entrepreneur at NASA?” Reflecting on this, I realized that most of my accomplishments at NASA were not at Headquarters, but out in the field where I could roll up my sleeves and work on projects and get stuff done. Whereas I thought I had the best of both worlds being a Headquarters employee stationed in Silicon Valley, I actually had the worst of both worlds… no influence when I can’t be in all of those meetings at NASA HQ, with no mandate to manage projects at Ames. As budgets kept getting cut and continuing resolutions from Congress continued to make funding unavailable, I saw my vision for the future slowly slip further from my grasp.
Kemp reflected on his years at NASA but didn’t give specifics on his next adventure.
So, today, I am announcing that I am leaving the place I dreamed of working as a kid to find a garage in Palo Alto to do what I love.