U.S. Representative Jim Bridenstine, President Donald Trump’s nominee for NASA Administrator, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate Thursday, April 19, 2018.
“It is an honor to be confirmed by the United States Senate to serve as NASA Administrator,” said Bridenstine. “I am humbled by this opportunity, and I once again thank President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for their confidence. I look forward to working with the outstanding team at NASA to achieve the President’s vision for American leadership in space.”
Current Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot also released a comment on the Senate confirmation. “I’m very pleased to welcome Jim Bridenstine to NASA,” said Lightfoot. “He joins our great agency at a time when we are poised to accomplish historic milestones across the full spectrum of our work. Jim now takes the reins of this agency and its talented and dedicated workforce. I’m looking forward to him building on our great momentum and sharing our many strengths to help us make the next giants leaps on behalf of humanity. I also want to express my heartfelt appreciation to the NASA team for all they accomplished during my time leading the agency.”
Congressman Jim Bridenstine was elected in 2012 to represent Oklahoma’s First Congressional District. He serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Science, Space and Technology Committee.
Bridenstine began his Naval aviation career flying the E-2C Hawkeye off the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier. It was there that he flew combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan and gathered most of his 1,900 flight hours and 333 carrier-arrested landings. While on active duty, he transitioned to the F-18 Hornet and flew at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center, the parent command to TOPGUN.
After leaving active duty, Bridenstine returned to Tulsa to be the Executive Director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium. Bridenstine’s background includes a triple major at Rice University, a MBA from Cornell University, 9 years active duty in the United States Navy, and business experience in real estate, ranching, aerospace, and defense contracting.
Bridenstine was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve in 2012 while flying missions in Central and South America in support of America’s war on drugs. Most recently he transitioned to the 137th Air Refueling Wing of the Oklahoma Air National Guard, where he will fly with an MC-12 squadron stationed at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City.