NASA CTO Chris Kemp steps down

Tuesday - 3/15/2011, 4:55pm EDT

By Julia Ziegler
Federal News Radio

Chris Kemp, the chief technology officer for information technology at NASA, resigned Monday. Kemp made the announcement on his blog.

Kemp said he has been struggling with the decision for the last 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 has worked at NASA for the past five years. Prior to joining NASA, Kemp helped create Classmates.com as well as Escapia, a web-based vacation rental platform.

No word on Kemp's next move. According to his blog, "I am leaving the place I dreamed of working as a kid to find a garage in Palo Alto to do what I love."