Chief Executive Officer of NASA
Organization: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Date of Birth: 15 June 1975
Age: 48 years old
Zodiac sign: Gemini
Profession: Chief Executive Officer
James Frederick Bridenstine is an American politician and the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Bridenstine was the United States Representative for Oklahoma's 1st congressional district, based in Tulsa from January 3, 2013 to April 23, 2018. He is a member of the Republican Party.
On September 1, 2017, President Donald Trump nominated Bridenstine to be the Administrator of NASA; he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 19, 2018, by a party-line vote of 50–49. Bridenstine was on the Committee on Science, Space and Technology during his time in Congress. He is the first elected official to be appointed NASA Administrator.
Bridenstine plans to resign as the head of NASA on January 20, 2021.
Early life and education
Bridenstine was born on June 15, 1975 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He grew up in Arlington, Texas, the son of an elementary school teacher and an accountant, where he became an Eagle Scout.
His family moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, during his junior year of high school, and during his senior year he was captain of the Jenks High School swim team and Oklahoma Swimmer of the Year; as of mid-2016, was one of a team of four that held the Oklahoma state record in the 200 meter freestyle relay for age group 17-18.
Bridenstein graduated from Jenks High School in 1993, and earned a scholarship to Rice University in Houston, Texas, but injured his shoulder during his sophomore year; he took five years to graduate, in 1998, with majors in Economics, Psychology, and Business, and has an MBA from Cornell University, awarded in 2009.
Bridenstine joined the Navy in May 1998, after graduating from Rice University. He was a Naval Aviator in both the active duty United States Navy and the United States Naval Reserve. He flew the E-2C Hawkeye aircraft as part of a carrier air wing with the U.S. Navy and in Central and South America in support of the War on Drugs with the Naval Reserve. He later moved to the F-18 Hornet and flew at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center, in Nevada
In 2006, Bridenstine bought stock in the Rocket Racing League (RRL), which planned to begin races in 2008. In January 2007, he met with Tulsa city officials, asking for support for establishing a team in that city, and later in 2007 he invested in an RRL team.
In 2007, after the end of his active duty in the Navy, the Bridenstine moved to Orlando, Florida, where he worked at Wyle Laboratories, a defense consulting firm. In 2008, Bridenstine and his family moved back to Tulsa to be closer to his family, and he became the chief pilot for the Tulsa team of the RRL.
In December 2008, Bridenstine became the executive director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum. In November 2009, he proposed to the head of RRL that the league put on an air show in Tulsa, and in February 2010 the museum announced that it would partner with RRL for the show. The April 2010 show attracted around 40,000 spectators, but lost $330,000, and overall fundraising events for the museum for 2010 lost $400,000. Bridenstine left the executive director's position in August 2010, along with the museum's financial controller and the director of marketing.
In 2010, Bridenstine began serving in the Navy Reserve. In 2015, two years after become a U.S. Representative, he transferred his Reserve commission and joined the Oklahoma Air National Guard.
On November 6, 2004, in Fort Worth, Texas, Bridenstine married the former Michelle Deanne Ivory.