Senior Research Fellow and Adjunct Professor
A retired U.S. Marine Corps lieutenant general, Jefferson Davis Howell Jr., served as director of the Johnson Space Center from 2002 to 2005, where he was responsible for planning and directing all of the center's programs, including the space shuttle and International Space Station. He also oversaw spacecraft engineering and design, flight crew training, space and life sciences research and mission operations. As Johnson Space Center director, Howell received numerous awards, including the 2003 Gold Knight of Management Award from the National Management Association, NASA's Outstanding Leadership Award (2003), and NASA's Distinguished Service Medal (2005). He has also received the UT Austin Graduate School's Outstanding Graduate Alumnus Award.
Prior to 1998, Howell served with distinction for 37 years in the U.S. Marine Corps. In 1995 he was promoted to lieutenant general and assigned as commander, Marine Forces Pacific, and commander, Marine Corps Bases, Pacific. As part of this assignment, he was designated commander of U.S. Marine Forces, Korea, and commander of U.S. Marine Forces, Central Command. Howell is the recipient of numerous military decorations and awards, including the Department of Navy's Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit and Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V." In 1980 he received the John Paul Jones Award for Inspirational Leadership from the Navy League of the United States.