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Maj. Gen. Charles F. Bolden, Jr.

12th NASA Administrator

Charles Frank Bolden Jr. (born August 19, 1946) is a former Administrator of NASA, a retired United States Marine Corps Major General, and a former astronaut who flew on four Space Shuttle missions.

He graduated from the United States Naval Academy with the class of 1968. Bolden became a Marine aviator and test pilot. After his service as an astronaut, he became Deputy Commandant of Midshipmen at the Naval Academy.

On May 23, 2009, President Barack Obama announced the nomination of Bolden as Administrator of NASA and Lori Garver as deputy NASA administrator. Both were confirmed by the Senate by unanimous consent on July 15, 2009. Bolden was the first African American to head the agency on a permanent basis.

On January 12, 2017, Bolden announced his retirement from NASA during a town hall meeting at NASA Headquarters in Washington D.C. His last day would be January 19, and Robert M. Lightfoot Jr. was announced as acting NASA Administrator.

In 2020, Bolden was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering for leadership and development of U.S. human spaceflight and space operations programs, and for revitalizing fundamental aeronautics research.

Image Credits: Alpheus Media

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