Assistant to the Chief
Public Affairs and Government Relations
Ames Research Center
Bruce Buckingham is currently serving on an extended detail to Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., as assistant to the chief of Public Affairs and Government Relations. In this role, Buckingham oversees the daily operations of the Ames public affairs staff, the Web management team, and television and photo production teams.
As an opportunity to enhance his leadership skills, Buckingham is responsible for planning and managing public relations programs at Ames involving issues that are controversial or of significant public or news media interest. In addition, he advises agency management on policy formulation and the potential public reaction; identifies communication needs and develops writing and editing informational materials; serves as senior advisor to less-experienced public affairs staff; and provides consultation as a subject-matter expert to managers on all aspects of public affairs activities and development of information materials for internal and external use.
Prior to this assignment, Buckingham was on a 16-month detail to the Small Business Program at the Kennedy Space Center, Fla. where he served as Kennedy's business outreach coordinator.
For 22 years, Buckingham served at the Kennedy Press Site as news chief and public affairs officer covering the Space Shuttle Program and other key Kennedy events and activities. He was managing editor of the official Kennedy newspaper, the Spaceport News, for more than fifteen years.
As one of NASA's primary spokesmen since 1985, Buckingham works daily with local and national media to ensure that news outlets have accurate information regarding NASA's space activities. At Kennedy, he served as "the voice of NASA," providing live launch commentary for over 30 space shuttle missions and a similar number of unmanned expendable launch vehicle missions launched from Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
Buckingham was raised in the Melbourne/Palm Bay area on Florida's "Space Coast," in the shadow of NASA's early launch years and the Apollo moon missions. He graduated from Eau Gallie High School in Melbourne in 1973 and went on to receive his associate's degree from Brevard Community College. He graduated from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla., with a Bachelor of Science in psychology in 1978. He was accepted into the Master of Business Administration program at the Florida Institute of Technology in 1980.
In 1979, Buckingham joined the staff of Sen. Bill Nelson, then a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, in his district office in Melbourne. Two years later, he was promoted and moved to Washington, D.C., to serve as Nelson's legislative assistant on space-related issues.
During his more than 30-year government career, Buckingham has received numerous individual and group achievement awards, both from NASA and outside organizations. These include the 2004 Space Communicator Award from the Rotary National Committee for Space Achievement Foundation, honoring Buckingham's public information efforts following the shuttle Columbia accident and the subsequent return to flight of the shuttle.
April 2009Biographies - Current Employees