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Portrait of Donald Campbell National Aeronautics and Space Administration
John H. Glenn Research Center
Lewis Field
Cleveland, Ohio 44135

Donald J. Campbell

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Donald J. Campbell is Director of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field in Cleveland, Ohio. NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin appointed him to this position on January 6, 1994.

As Director, Campbell is responsible for planning, organizing, and directing the activities required in accomplishing the missions assigned to the Center. Glenn is engaged in research, technology, and systems development programs in aeronautical propulsion, space propulsion, space power, space communications, and microgravity sciences in combustion and fluid physics.

While managing an annual budget of approximately $650 million, he oversees a workforce of 1900 civil service employees and 1500 on-site support service contractors. The center consists of 24 major facilities and over 500 specialized research facilities located at the 350-acre Cleveland site, near Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, and the 6400-acre Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio.

Campbell earned a bachelor's degree at Ohio Northern University and a master's degree at Ohio State University, both in mechanical engineering. His successful career in public service has earned him numerous awards and accolades including honorary doctorate degrees from Wilberforce University, Ohio Northern University, and Cranfield University, United Kingdom.

He also has completed the Senior Executive Seminar in Management at Carnegie Mellon School of Urban and Public Affairs and the Executive Leadership Program at the Federal Executive Institute. In addition, he has studied at the Brookings Institute and Defense Systems Management School.

Campbell began his government career in 1960 as a test engineer for gas turbine engines and engine components in the Air Force Aero Propulsion Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. He then worked as a researcher, a project engineer and later as a program manager for advanced air breathing propulsion systems. Following these engineering positions, he served as senior planning manager for gas turbine engines on staff to Laboratory Commander.

From February to July 1986, Campbell was assigned as an interim Directorate Chief during the implementation of the National Aerospace Plane (NASP) Program Office, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. He was Acting Director of the NASP Technology Maturation Directorate. In 1987, he became Acting Deputy director of the Aero Propulsion Laboratory. In 1988, he was selected for the rank of Senior Executive Service and was appointed Deputy Program Director for the Propulsion System Program Office, Aeronautical Systems Division. He was the senior civilian executive for development and acquisition of new and derivative gas turbine engines for operational aircraft. In 1990, he was appointed Director of the Aero Propulsion and Power Laboratory. He was responsible for the Air Force propulsion and power research and development in the areas of gas turbine engines, ramjet engines, aerospace power systems, and fuels and lubricants.

In 1992, he was named Director of Science and Technology, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Washington, D.C. In this capacity he monitored and directed the Air Force Science and Technology program and other selected research, development, technology, and engineering programs.

The superior quality of his work over almost four decades has been recognized with the Air Force Systems Command Certificate of Merit, the Meritorious Civilian Service Award, and the Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Executive in the Senior Executive Service. He also received the Affirmative Action Award from the Ohio Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission and was named the 1998 Federal Laboratory Director of the Year for Technology Transfer by the Federal Laboratory Consortium. Campbell was recently recognized with the Technical Excellence in Government and Engineer of the Year Award from the National Technical Association. In addition, he was presented the Career Achievement Award by the 2001 Black Engineer of the Year Awards.

Among his many professional affiliations, Campbell is a member of the board of directors of the American Red Cross and the Cleveland Advanced Manufacturing Program. In addition, he is a member of the board of trustees for the Great Lakes Science Center and the Cleveland National Air Show. He serves as the NASA Liaison for the Governor's Technology Action Board. He is also a member of the Northeast Ohio Regional Technology Coalition, Cleveland Clinic Industrial Advisory Board, Kent State University Aeronautics Division Advisory Board, University of Cincinnati College of Engineering Advisory Council, Ohio Northern University Board of Trustees and College of Engineering Executive Advisory Board, Cleveland Federal Executive Board, Greater Cleveland Growth Association, National Space Club, Blacks In Government, National Management Association, Air Force Association, and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is also a member of the Tau Beta Pi National Engineering Honor Society. Earlier this year Campbell was conferred the rank of Associate Fellow by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

A native of Lima, Ohio, he was inducted into the Lima City Schools Hall of Fame in 1993. Campbell and his wife, Helen, have four adult children.



  1. Mr. Campbell was Center Director from January 1994 to October 2003.