Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
Tampa Native Hendriksen Receives NASA Distinguished Service Medal
With a Kennedy Space Center career spanning more than 40 years, Deputy Chief Counsel Douglas Hendriksen recently received one of NASA's highest employee honors, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, during a ceremony in Washington, D.C. Hendriksen was recognized "for his extraordinary legal career with the Office of the Chief Counsel" at KSC.
The award is given to any federal service employee who, by distinguished service, ability or courage, has personally made a contribution representing substantial progress to the NASA mission.
"It was a great honor to receive this award," Hendriksen said. "There is definitely never a dull moment at KSC, working with extremely bright people."
Hendriksen's career with NASA began when he was hired as a procurement attorney in 1967, after the Apollo 1 fire. He has remained with the Office of the Chief Counsel ever since. His primary responsibilities include government procurement law advice and serving on more than 40 source evaluation and mishap boards.
KSC Chief Counsel Jerald Stubbs said Hendriksen works tirelessly to advance NASA's goals and objectives through proactive legal services.
"His many contributions include numerous source selections to provide NASA with needed launch support and base operating services and projects," Stubbs said.
Hendriksen's interests outside of KSC include several philanthropic endeavors. He serves as a mentor for youths ages 13 through 18 at the Georgianna United Methodist Church on Merritt Island, Fla. "It's important to be there to show kids you care," Hendriksen said. "Sometimes just being there and listening to them is all that is needed."
He volunteers with Leadership Brevard on programs to keep young professionals in Brevard. As a member of the R.H. Leonard Foundation in Cocoa, Fla., he works to find affordable housing for people in Brevard and for those who have been evicted.
Hendriksen is a Florida history buff and a member and past chairman of the Brevard County Historical Commission. He has a collection of more than 30,000 postcards and nearly 5,000 early Florida "stereo view" pictures, and was the driving force in having a three-volume history of Brevard County published.
Before joining NASA, Hendriksen worked as law clerk for a federal district judge in Jacksonville, Fla. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Florida in 1961, a Master of Science degree in guidance and counseling from Florida State University in 1963, and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Florida in 1966.
Hendriksen resides in Merritt Island with his wife of 40 years, Barbara. He has two daughters, Karen Paige Smith, 39, and Dianne Rae Hendriksen, 38, and two grandchildren, Madison, 8, and Max, 6.
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