We are pleased to announce Charles F. Bolden Jr., former NASA Administrator and Major General of the U.S. Marine Corps, as our keynote speaker for the 2019 Global Ties U.S. National Meeting during the Opening Plenary, which takes place January 24 at the Marriott Wardman Park hotel.
Bolden has dedicated his life to the service of the United States. As only the second astronaut in the history of NASA to hold the position of administrator, Bolden oversaw the transition from the space shuttle system to a new era of exploration, fully focused on the International Space Station (ISS) and aeronautics technology development.
As one of the U.S. Department of State’s Science Envoys in 2018, Bolden promotes American leadership in space exploration and emphasizes the importance of commercial opportunities. Through the Science Envoy Program, he and four other U.S. scientists and engineers engage internationally at the citizen and government levels to enhance relationships between other nations and the United States, develop partnerships, and improve collaboration.
During his career as a NASA astronaut, Bolden flew on four space shuttle missions, logging over 680 hours in space. He piloted Space Shuttle Columbia in 1986 (STS-61C) and Space Shuttle Discovery in 1990 (STS-31) – the mission that deployed the Hubble Space Telescope. He also served as Chief of NASA’s Safety Division in the wake of 1996’s Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.
Bolden also had a long and distinguished military career. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Bolden flew over 100 combat missions during the Vietnam War. In 1998, he later served as the Commanding General of the Marine expeditionary force attached to Operation Desert Thunder in Kuwait. He last served as Commanding General of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California, prior to his retirement from the Marine Corps.
Bolden holds an Master of Science Degree in Systems Management from the University of Southern California. He was inducted into the U.S Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2006 and the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 2016. Today, he serves as President and CEO of The Bolden Consulting Group LLC, a veteran-owned small business specializing in aerospace, national security, and education.
Hear him and other inspiring public servants from across the U.S. government, civil society, and nonprofit organizations at the 2019 National Meeting.