Bernard A. Harris Jr. is a member of the RTX Board of Directors. He brings expertise in business, space exploration, emerging technologies and community development.
Dr. Harris, a former NASA astronaut, has logged more than 438 hours and traveled over 7.2 million miles in space. He was a mission specialist on the space shuttle Columbia in 1993 and a payload commander on space shuttle Discovery in 1995, where he became the first African American to walk in space.
Dr. Harris is chief executive officer and managing partner of Vesalius Ventures, Inc. He is a trustee/director for Salient and Barings investment funds. He serves on the boards of U.S. Physical Therapy (Nasdaq: USPH) and MassMutual. He is also a board member for the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine - Board on Health Sciences Policy, the Texas Medical Center, and the Harris Foundation, which he founded. Additionally, Dr. Harris is the chief executive officer of the National Math and Science Initiative.
He earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Houston, a Master of Medical Science from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Houston – Clear Lake, and a Doctor of Medicine from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine. He completed a residency in internal medicine at the Mayo Clinic, a National Research Council Fellowship in endocrinology at the NASA Ames Research Center and trained as a flight surgeon at the United States Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine
Dr. Harris is the recipient of numerous awards, including seven honorary doctorates, the NASA Space Flight Medal and NASA Award of Merit. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and was the recipient of the 2000 Horatio Alger Award.