Kennedy Biographies

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James R. Heald
Former Director
Spaceport Engineering and Technology

Jim Heald was the director of Spaceport Engineering and Technology for NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Fla. In this position, Heald was responsible for developing advanced spaceport and range technologies and systems that enable safer, lower cost access to space and extended human space exploration using innovative and integrated science and engineering techniques. He was also a key leader in the Center’s Core Competency of Research and Development, Design, Construction, and Operations of Spaceport Services on all Surfaces. He was responsible for the operations and maintenance of the Center’s Core Technical Capability.

Heald joined NASA after serving 26 years in the United States Air Force and capped his military career as vice commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory. There he played a key role in directing the Air Force's science and technology program.

Heald is a distinguished graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, earning a bachelor degree in Computer Science and Mathematics in 1975. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He received a Master's degree in Computer Science from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1976. He is a distinguished graduate from the United States Air Force Test Pilot School, a distinguished graduate of the Air Command and Staff College, and a Secretary of Defense Fellow.

Heald is rated as a master navigator and logged over 2300 hours of flying time in more than 30 different types of aircraft for the United States Air Force. He is also a multi-engine, single-engine, and glider pilot and a certified flight instructor.

Heald is a native of Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and is married to the former Pat McCollum of Scottsdale, Ariz. They have two adult children, Mike and Greg.

May 2006

Biographies - Current Employees