Richard Beck, PhD

Dr. Richard Beck is presently the Department of the Interior’s Director for Planning and Performance Management, which provides leadership and guidance across the Department’s bureaus on strategic planning, performance management, and effectiveness. Dr. Beck also serves as the Department’s Deputy Performance Improvement Officer. Along with ensuring transparency and accountability, his responsibilities include development of the agency’s strategic plan and corresponding annual performance reports; advising the Secretary and bureau heads on processes for assessing and improving programmatic performance; and developing methods to facilitate programmatic and budget planning, and decision making.

Prior to his recent position, Dr. Beck worked for over 20 years at NASA in the areas of budget formulation, program management, performance assessment, and particularly management and decision process design. He originally joined the federal government through the Presidential Management Intern Program in 1981. He began his career in budgeting and performance analysis of space and earth science programs, and subsequently expanded his experience into program management, decision process and organizational design through positions including the Environmental Satellites Program Manager, Deputy Director of the Earth Science Program Office, and Director of the Office of Earth Science Business Division. As Director of the Resources Management Division he was responsible for budget formulation and decision activities across NASA.

Dr. Beck has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a Masters in Public Administration, with a specialization in Policy Analysis, both awarded by the State University of New York at Albany. For his doctorate research in innovative collaborative management processes for research and development organizations, he was awarded the National Space Club/NASA James E. Webb Memorial Fellowship and a Ph.D. from George Mason University. Dr. Beck is also a recipient of the National Performance Review’s “Hammer” Award for Reinventing Government, which he received with his interagency colleagues for consolidating the military and civilian polar-orbiting meteorological satellite programs, and was recognized for playing a key role in NASA’s achievement of a “green” rating in President Bush’s Budget and Performance Integration Initiative.

Dr. Beck also regularly volunteers at the Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park in downtown, Washington, D.C. helping visitors understand the nature and behaviors of cheetahs, Grevy zebras, and other African wildlife species.


  • Job Title:Planning and Performance Management
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