Michael Griffin is the King-McDonald Eminent Scholar and Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and the Director of the Center for System Studies at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. From 2005-09 he was the Administrator of NASA. Prior to re-joining NASA, he was Space Department Head at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. He has also held numerous executive positions with industry, including President and Chief Operating Officer of In-Q-Tel, Chief Executive Officer of Magellan Systems, General Manager of Orbital Science Corporation's Space Systems Group, and Executive Vice President and Chief Technical Officer at Orbital.
Dr. Griffin's earlier career includes government service as both Chief Engineer and Associate Administrator for Exploration at NASA, and as the Deputy for Technology at the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO). Prior to joining SDIO in an executive capacity, he played a key role in conceiving and directing several "first of a kind" space tests in support of strategic defense research, development, and flight-testing. These included the first space-to-space intercept of a ballistic missile in powered flight, the first broad-spectrum space borne reconnaissance of targets and decoys in midcourse flight, and the first space-to-ground reconnaissance of ballistic missiles during the boost phase. He also played a leading role in other space missions in earlier work at the JHU Applied Physics Laboratory, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the Computer Science Corporation.
Dr. Griffin previously taught for thirteen years as an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland, the Johns Hopkins University, and George Washington University, offering courses in spacecraft design, applied mathematics, guidance and navigation, compressible flow, computational fluid dynamics, spacecraft attitude control, astrodynamics, and introductory aerospace engineering. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in Maryland and California, and is the lead author of over two dozen technical papers and the textbook Space Vehicle Design.
Dr. Griffin is member of the National Academy of Engineering and the International Academy of Astronautics, an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), a Fellow of the American Astronautical Society, and a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, the AIAA Space Systems Medal and Goddard Astronautics Award, the National Space Club's Goddard Trophy, the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement, and the Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Medal, the highest award which can be conferred on a non-government employee.
Mr. Griffin obtained his B.A. in Physics from the Johns Hopkins University, which he attended as the winner of a Maryland Senatorial Scholarship. He holds Master's degrees in Aerospace Science from Catholic University, Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California, Applied Physics from Johns Hopkins, Civil Engineering from George Washington University, and Business Administration from Loyola College of Maryland. He received his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland, and has been recognized with honorary doctoral degrees from Florida Southern College and the University of Notre Dame.
Mike was born in 1949 in Aberdeen, Maryland. His hobbies include golf, flying, amateur radio, skiing, and scuba diving. He is a Certified Flight Instructor with instrument and multiengine ratings, and holds an Extra Class radio amateur license.