NASA Administrator (2005-2009)
Editor's Note: Michael Griffin's tenure with NASA ended on Jan. 20, 2009.
Nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the United States Senate, Michael Griffin began his duties as the 11th Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration on April 14, 2005. As Administrator, he leads the NASA team and manages its resources to advance the U.S. Vision for Space Exploration.
Prior to being nominated as NASA Administrator, Griffin was serving as Space Department Head at Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md. He was previously President and Chief Operating Officer of In-Q-Tel, Inc., and also served in several positions within Orbital Sciences Corporation, Dulles, Va., including Chief Executive Officer of Orbital's Magellan Systems division and General Manager of the Space Systems Group.
Earlier in his career at NASA, Griffin served as associate administrator for exploration from August 1991 through March 1993, becoming chief engineer in March 1993 through January 1994. He also served as deputy for technology at the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization. He has been an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University and George Washington University, where he taught courses in spacecraft design, applied mathematics, guidance and navigation, compressible flow, computational fluid dynamics, spacecraft attitude control, astrodynamics and introductory aerospace engineering. He is the lead author of more than two dozen technical papers, as well as the textbook, "Space Vehicle Design."
A registered professional engineer in Maryland and California, Griffin is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the International Academy of Astronautics, an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), a Fellow of the American Astronautical Society, and a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. He is a recipient of the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, the AIAA Space Systems Medal, and the Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Medal, the highest award given to a non-government employee.
Griffin received a bachelor's degree in physics from Johns Hopkins University; a master's degree in aerospace science from Catholic University of America; a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland; a master's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California; a master's degree in applied physics from Johns Hopkins University; a master's degree in business administration from Loyola College; and a master's degree in Civil Engineering from George Washington University. He is a certified flight instructor with instrument and multiengine ratings.