U.Va. Grad to Lead NASA
University of Virginia law school graduate and former astronaut Bill Nelson was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be the 14th administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He takes over from acting NASA administrator Steve Jurczyk.
“I’m happy to welcome Bill to the NASA family,” said Jurczyk. “It’s been an amazing year for NASA and our commercial and international partners, and I look forward to working with Bill and the Biden-Harris Administration to build on the incredible momentum we’ve built so far.”
Administrator Nelson went to space in 1986 as a payload specialist on space shuttle Columbia. In addition to breaking the bonds of earth 35 years ago, he represented Florida in the U.S. Senate from 2001 to 2019. During his three terms as a Senator, Nelson served on the Commerce, Armed Services, Budget, Foreign Relations, Intelligence and Aging committees.
Administrator Nelson earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Yale University in 1965 and joined the U.S. Army Reserve. After earning his juris doctorate from the School of Law at U.Va. in 1968, he served on active duty from 1968 through 1970.