Jim Bridenstine is a Senior Advisor at Acorn Growth Companies, an Oklahoma City based private equity company that invests exclusively in aerospace, defense, and intelligence.
Before joining Acorn, Jim served as the 13th Administrator of NASA, where he was responsible for managing NASA’s 70,000-person workforce and $23 billion annual budget. Under his leadership, NASA reestablished an American human spaceflight program, which was lost after the retirement of the Space Shuttles in 2011. He also created NASA’s Artemis program to establish the first permanent presence on the Moon with commercial and international partners and enable a path to Mars.
Before being appointed as NASA Administrator, Jim served in the United States House of Representatives from Oklahoma’s First Congressional District from 2013 to 2018. He was a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee where he chaired the Subcommittee on the Environment.
Prior to Congress, Jim served as a pilot in the United States Navy acquiring 1900 flight hours and 333 landings on an aircraft carrier. He flew combat missions in Afghanistan (2002) and Iraq (2003) off the USS Abraham Lincoln, where he earned an Air Medal and Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V”. Originally an E-2C Hawkeye pilot, he transitioned to the F-18 Hornet and flew as an aggressor (Red Air) at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center, the parent command to TOPGUN.
Jim serves on the Board of Directors for Viasat, Inc., the Board of Trustees of the Aerospace Corporation, and he Chairs the Board of Advisors for Voyager Space.
Jim earned a triple major from Rice University in Economics, Business, and Psychology and an MBA from Cornell University. He lives in Tulsa with his wife Michelle and three children: Walker (15), Sarah (13), and Grant (9).