Sumara Thompson-King (L'84)


General Counsel

Sumara M. Thompson-King was selected as the General Counsel at NASA in June 2014. Ms. Thompson-King serves as the chief legal officer for the agency and oversees its team of attorneys responsible for all aspects of NASA’s legal affairs around the world. Previously, she served as the Deputy General Counsel responsible for oversight of substantive legal advice and assistance provided by NASA’s Associate General Counsels to the Centers, through effective collaboration with each Center’s Chief Counsel. She also served as the agency’s Suspension and Debarment Official.

Ms. Thompson-King began her NASA career in 1986 when she joined the Office of Chief Counsel at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. At Goddard, she provided advice on federal acquisitions, tort claims, personnel actions and Freedom of Information Act requests. In 1991, Ms. Thompson-King moved to NASA Headquarters to become a Senior Attorney responsible for litigating protests before the General Services Administration Board of Contract Appeals, and in 1995 she became the Deputy Associate General Counsel (Contracts). Before joining NASA, Ms. Thompson-King was an attorney at the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, Washington, DC, where she enforced Federal accessibility laws and regulations.

Recognized for sustained accomplishment, Ms. Thompson-King was a 2016 recipient of the Meritorious Presidential Rank Award, and she was awarded NASA's Exceptional Achievement Medal in recognition of her litigation achievements. Both the Office of Government Ethics and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recognized her contributions to their respective ethics and satellite programs. Ms. Thompson-King is a frequent panelist and speaker on legal matters related to government and commercial space activities.

Ms. Thompson-King received an A.B. in Government from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and she earned a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC. Ms. Thompson-King is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar.