Gerry Griffin is the former Director of the NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston. In prior positions at NASA he served as the Deputy Director of the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida and the Hugh F. Dryden (now Neil A. Armstrong) Flight Research Center in California. At NASA Headquarters in Washington DC Gerry also held the posts of Assistant Administrator for Legislative Affairs, Associate Administrator for External Relations, and Deputy Associate Administrator for Space Flight (Operations).
Gerry joined NASA as a flight controller in Mission Control, specializing in guidance, navigation and control systems for Project Gemini and the early unmanned missions of the Apollo Program. Before the first manned Apollo mission, Apollo 7, he was selected to be a flight director and served in that role for all of the Apollo Program manned missions, including all nine manned missions to the moon, six of which included lunar landings. Gerry was the Lead Flight Director for Apollo 12, Apollo 15 and Apollo 17. His Gold Team conducted half of the lunar landings made during Apollo: Apollo’s 14, 16, & 17. Gerry’s team was scheduled to conduct the landing of Apollo 13, but when the landing was canceled as a result of an oxygen tank explosion his Gold team was one of four teams who played key roles in the safe return of the astronauts.
Gerry earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Texas A&M University (TAMU) and was commissioned as an officer in the United States Air Force. He served four years on active duty, first in flight training, then flying as a weapon systems officer in jet fighter-interceptors. Gerry left active duty and joined the space program as a systems engineer/flight controller at the USAF Satellite Test Center in Sunnyvale, California. He also was a senior aerospace engineer with General Dynamics/Fort Worth before joining NASA.
Gerry left NASA for the private sector to become President and CEO of the Greater Houston Chamber of Commerce, a post he held until he joined Korn/Ferry International, a worldwide executive search firm, as the Managing Director of the firm's Houston office.
Today Gerry is a technical and management consultant for a broad range of clients. He also is a member of the Advisory Board of Alpha Space LLC; a trustee of Schreiner University; and a member of the Advisory Board of the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station. He is a former member of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, a former trustee of the Universities Space Research Association, and a Past Chair of the TAMU 12th Man Foundation.
Gerry received numerous awards during his years with NASA including the Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded to the Apollo 13 Mission Operations Team, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, two NASA Exceptional Service Medals, the Meritorious Executive Rank Award, and the Distinguished Executive Rank Award. He is the recipient of numerous honors from his alma mater, Texas A&M University, including the Distinguished Alumnus Award, the Corps of Cadets Hall of Honor Award, the College of Engineering Alumni Honor Award, and the Aerospace Engineering Department Distinguished Alumnus Award. Gerry received the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Houston Clear Lake and is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the American Astronautical Society. At the 2018 Apollo Celebration sponsored by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation and the Share Space Foundation Gerry received the Pioneer Award in recognition of his contributions to the Apollo program.
Because of his real life role as a Flight Director during the flight of Apollo 13 Gerry was a technical advisor for the movie Apollo 13. Later he was a technical advisor for and an actor in the movies Contact and Deep Impact, then was the technical advisor for the movie Apollo 18. Gerry is a member of the Screen Actors Guild.
Gerry is an active general aviation pilot and aircraft owner, and holds a commercial license with an instrument rating for single engine aircraft, multi-engine aircraft and helicopters.
Gerry and his wife, Sandy, live in Hunt, Texas.