JPL Executive Council Collection, 1960-1982

Jet Propulsion Laboratory (U.S.). Office of the Director


7.5. cubic ft (340 folders).
Organized into eight series.
The collection contains materials distributed to and generated by the JPL Executive Council, dated primarily between 1975 to 1980. The materials include items distributed and/or discussed at Executive Council meetings, memoranda, Executive Council meeting minutes and summaries, agendas, Executive Council Retreat and Mini-Retreat agendas, minutes and summaries, and correspondence, reports, memoranda, copies of journal and newspaper articles, and ephemera that were generally presented as attachments to the record of the meeting.
Meeting minutes of three Executive Council committees are also represented in the collection. The committees were the Solar System Exploration Executive Committee (later the Space Science and Exploration Executive Committee), the UtilitarianProjects Executive Committee, and the Institutional Executive Committee.
Half of the subject files were originally filed chronologically, while half were filed with the meeting minutes or summary of the meeting they pertained to. This arrangement has been retained, with a chronological subject file series as well as attachments to the meetings in the Executive Council meetings series.
Series 1. Executive Council Miscellaneous Material -- series 2. JPL Performance Evaluations -- series 3. Office of the Director Memoranda and Director's Letters -- series 4. Program Operating Plans -- series 5. Executive Council Committees -- series 6. Subject Files -- series 7. Executive Council Meetings -- series 8. Executive Council Retreats and Mini-Retreats.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's (JPL) Executive Council was established in an interoffice memo from JPL Director William Pickering to the Senior Staff on February 14, 1963. The roles of the Executive Council were to formulate the major policies of the Laboratory, develop long range and intermediate range plans for attaining the objectives of the Laboratory, recommend to the Director preferable courses of action, periodically review with the Director the status of existing and proposed major projects, and coordinate major actions of the Laboratory. The Executive Council also was established to provide an executive forum that would be concerned with any matter that might significantly affect the welfare of the Laboratory and its activities. The Council was intended as a high level advisory and consulting group to the Director. It was not empowered to make decisions, but to directly and actively assist and support the Director on the burdens and obligations of his office.
The permanent membership of the Council was established in 1963 as consisting of eight people: the Laboratory Director, Deputy Director, and the various Assistant Laboratory Directors (ALDs). The Staff Assistant to the Director served as Secretary, and was informally in charge of keeping records of meetings and correspondence. The makeup of the Executive Council has changed through the years, with retirements, laboratory reorganizations and changes in priorities. By the end of Bruce Murray's tenure as Laboratory Director in June 1982, the Executive Council was comprised of seventeen individuals, most of them either ALDs or their Deputies.
Records must be reviewed and cleared before foreign release. Boxes 23, 24 and 25 contain "JPL Discreet" Records. Discreet records are not available to the public. JPL Employees and Contractors should see the Discreet Information Policy in the DMIE database.
Finding aid available in the Archives; folder level control.
Appendix to finding aid contains a listing of members of the JPL Executive Council from 1963 to 1982.

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