The Honorable Charles F. Bolden, Jr.
The Honorable Charles F. Bolden, Jr. joined the LORD Corporation Board of Directors in February 2017.
Bolden most recently served as the 12th Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) from July 17, 2009 until January 20, 2017. Earlier in his career, Bolden served 34 years in the United States Marine Corps, retiring in 2003 with the rank of Major General.
At NASA, Bolden led a nationwide team to advance the mission and goals of the U.S. space program. During his tenure, Bolden oversaw a safe transition from 30 years of space shuttle missions to a new era of exploration focused on full utilization of the International Space Station and space aeronautics technology development. NASA’s dynamic science activities under Bolden include an unprecedented landing on Mars with the Curiosity rover, launch of a spacecraft to Jupiter, enhancement of the nation’s fleet of Earth-observing satellites, and continued progress toward the 2020 launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope.
In the Marine Corps, Bolden completed flight training and served as a Naval Aviator, flying more than 100 combat missions in North and South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Later, Bolden was selected as a member of NASA’s Astronaut Office and traveled to space four times aboard the space shuttle, commanding two of the missions and piloting two others. His flights included deployment of the Hubble Space Telescope and the first joint U.S. - Russian shuttle mission.
After 14 years as an astronaut, Bolden served in multiple command assignments for the Marine Corps. In 1997, Bolden was assigned as the Deputy Commanding General of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force in the Pacific. During the first half of 1998, he served as Commanding General of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force Forward in support of Operation Desert Thunder in Kuwait. He was promoted to his final rank of major general in July,1998 and named Deputy Commander of U.S. forces in Japan. He later served as the Commanding General of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California, from 2000 - 2002.
Bolden retired from the Marine Corps in 2003. His many military decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross. He was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in May, 2006 and the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 2017.
Born in Columbia, South Carolina, Bolden holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Science from the U.S. Naval Academy and a Master of Science in Systems Management from the University of Southern California.