WASHINGTON (Feb. 16, 2012)—Dr. Wanda M. Austin, president and CEO of The Aerospace Corporation, and Dr. William R. Harvey, president of Hampton University and owner of the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company in Houghton, Mich., have been appointed to the National Geographic Society board of trustees. They join 19 other trustees who are leaders in science, education, law, business, finance, government and public service.
The 124-year-old Society, whose mission is to inspire people to care about the planet, is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. It reaches more than 400 million people each month through its magazines, National Geographic Channel, books, films, DVDs, maps, radio, music, live events, interactive media and expeditions. It has funded more than 10,000 scientific research projects and supports an education program promoting geographic literacy.
“National Geographic is fortunate to have the additional counsel and experience of Wanda Austin and William Harvey, who have impressive records of leadership and service in the fields of engineering, space technology and education,” said Society Chairman and CEO John Fahey.
Wanda Austin has been president and CEO of The Aerospace Corporation, a leading architect for the nation’s national security space programs, since January 2008. She was previously senior vice president of The Aerospace Corporation’s National Systems group, which supports the national security space and intelligence community in the acquisition, launch and orbital operation of advanced technology space systems and their ground data stations. Prior to that, she was senior vice president of the Engineering and Technology Group, directing a staff of 1,000 engineers and scientists working in a wide range of science-related disciplines, and general manager of the Military Satellite Communications Division, responsible for systems engineering support to the Air Force in the architecture, acquisition, development and orbital operation of advanced satellite communications systems and programs.
Austin is internationally recognized for her work in satellite and payload system acquisition, systems engineering and system simulation. She served on President Obama’s Review of Human Spaceflight Plans Committee in 2009, and in 2010 was appointed to the Defense Science Board. She also is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the International Academy of Astronautics and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Austin has a doctorate in systems engineering from the University of Southern California and serves as a member of the University of Southern California board of trustees. Among the many awards she has received are the Black Engineer of the Year Award in 2009, the AIAA von Braun Award for Excellence in Space Program Management in 2010, the National Intelligence Medallion for Meritorious Service and the Air Force Scroll of Achievement. She was inducted into the Women of Technology International Hall of Fame in 2007.
William Harvey has been president of Hampton University since 1978 — one of the longest tenures of any sitting president of a U.S. university or college. He has transformed Hampton University from a small black college to a leader in the field of higher education. Under his watch, student enrollment has increased from about 2,700 students to more than 6,300. Seventy-six new academic programs have been introduced, 18 new buildings have been erected and some $50 million spent on the renovation of existing facilities. The endowment, which stood at $29 million when he became president, now exceeds $250 million.
Corporate boards Harvey serves on or has served on include Fannie Mae; Trigon Blue Cross Blue Shield; Signet Bank; Newport News Shipbuilding; Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company in Houghton, Mich.; National Merit Scholarship Corporation; and the Harvard Cooperative Society.
He has been appointed to national boards by six U.S. presidents. He has served on the President’s National Advisory Council on Elementary and Secondary Education; the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Service; the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, where he served as chair; the Commission on Presidential Scholars; the President’s Advisory Board on Historically Black Colleges, where he serves as chair; and the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Development Advisory Board.
Harvey was named 2010 Citizen of the Year by the Daily Press newspaper and 2005 Distinguished Citizen of the Year by the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Chief Executive Officer of the Year Leadership Award by CASE District III, Excellence in Leadership Award by Dominion Virginia Power, Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow Award and PepsiCo’s Harvey C. Russell Award.
Harvey earned his doctorate in college administration from Harvard University in 1972. He also has been awarded nine honorary doctorates. Prior to assuming his current position, he served as assistant for governmental affairs to the dean of the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University, administrative assistant to the president at Fisk University and administrative vice president at Tuskegee University.
Note to Editors: Photographs of the new National Geographic trustees can be found at the FTP site:http://press.nationalgeographic.com/downloads/temp2/file/trustees.