Ryan Garrett, ’06, always admired NASA growing up. Walking into the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University for his first day of class in 2004, he never imagined that his education at the School and perfect timing would allow him to play a role in the organization he had always respected.
Garrett now lives in Star City, Russia, and works as the Deputy Director of Operations to the International Space Station program. He was a program analyst for nine years in the NASA Office of the Chief Financial Officer supporting various organizations before making the move to Russia in 2017.
Garrett said he learned about his first job at NASA when a Bush School alumni sent a note to Career Services about the opening in the Office of the Chief Financial Officer at Johnson Space Center. The timing of the opening proved fortuitous for Garrett, and he capitalized on the opportunity. After submitting his resume, he was called for an interview.
“It was a much simpler process back then,” he noted.
Nine years later, in his current position, Garrett is responsible for providing an environment conducive to learning for American, Canadian, and Japanese astronauts. This includes managing NASA housing, office and gym facilities, vehicle fleet resources, transportation and shipping logistics, various support contracts and leases, and astronaut morale while the astronauts are participating in an extremely rigorous training regime that separates them from their families for up to six weeks at a time.
Navigating the move to a new country takes a certain level of adaptability, and a day’s work at NASA is never dull. The Bush School helped prepare Garrett for this fast-paced lifestyle abroad.
“The Bush School helped me immensely by teaching me how to distill vast amounts of information down to what is important and then construct meaningful and actionable recommendations/directives to management/subordinates,” Garrett said. “Learning how to focus my thoughts and not allow myself to become overwhelmed as I think critically about the task at hand has enabled me to be successful in my positions.”