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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

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    CONTACT: John Blacksten



    General John R. "Jack" Dailey Wins 2016 AIAA Foundation Award for Excellence
    Honored for Deep Commitment to Sharing Aviation and Spaceflight History and Technology with Present
    and Future Generations

    March 21, 2016 – Reston, Va. – General John R. “Jack” Dailey, United States Marine Corps (retired) and John and Adrienne Mars Director of the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., has won the 2016 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Foundation Award for Excellence. Dailey will receive the award at the AIAA Aerospace Spotlight Awards Gala on June 15, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Washington, D.C.

    The award honors Dailey’s “exemplary service as a Marine, to NASA, and as a NASM executive, with a deep commitment to sharing aviation and spaceflight history and technology with present and future generations.”

    “General John R. “Jack” Dailey exemplifies the qualities that the AIAA Foundation seeks to recognize with the Foundation Award for Excellence, our highest honor,” said Mike Griffin, former AIAA president and former NASA administrator. “A superb aviator, a gifted administrator, and a visionary leader, Jack is a legend in the aerospace community. His leadership of the National Air and Space Museum has been critical to expanding the museum’s collection and public offerings, and to preserving our nation’s rich aerospace legacy. His long service as NASA's acting Deputy Administrator and Associate Deputy Administrator in a critical time is remembered gratefully by those of us who were there. And before all this, Jack's storied career as a Marine aviator, culminating in his tenure as Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, would by itself have made him a candidate for this honor. The aerospace community writ large, and the AIAA in particular, have no more exemplary friend, member, and supporter than Gen. Dailey. It is as much an honor for us to recognize him with the Foundation Award for Excellence as we hope it is for him to receive it."

    Dailey, the former assistant commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, became director of the NASM in 2000. Under Dailey’s leadership, the NASM has done much to preserve the heritage of America’s aerospace community. His efforts have expanded the size and scope of the museum, and he has increased its outreach to the public as well. In 2003, under Dailey’s direction, the NASM opened the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, displaying more than 300 aircraft and space artifacts, adding another dimension to the nation’s most visited museum. Under Dailey’s direction, the NASM has greatly expanded its educational offerings, particularly in the field of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Dailey is currently leading the renovation of the NASM, a decade-long project.

    Prior to his tenure at NASM, Dailey served as the acting deputy administrator and associate deputy administrator at NASA from 1992 to 1999, where he was charged with the restructuring of the agency. While at NASA, Dailey served on the President’s Management Council, co-chaired the Aeronautics and Astronautics Coordinating Board, and was a delegate to the Research and Technology Organization in support of NATO.

    Dailey’s many honors include the 2013 AIAA Durand Lectureship for Public Service, the 2012 Wings Club Lifetime Achievement Award, and the 2011 National Aeronautics Association Statesman of Aviation Award. His past military honors include the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Army Distinguished Service Medal, and the Distinguished Flying Cross. Dailey is enshrined in both the Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame and the International Aviation Hall of Fame.

    The AIAA Foundation Award for Excellence recognizes deserving organizations or individuals for extraordinary accomplishments in the promotion of aerospace. Past recipients include the Mars Science Laboratory, the National Reconnaissance Office, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, Sen. John Glenn, the Joint Strike Fighter Program, and the X-51A WaveRider Team.

    For more information on the AIAA Foundation Award for Excellence, or the AIAA Honors and Awards program, please contact Carol Stewart at 703.264.7538 or

    About the AIAA Foundation
    The AIAA Foundation seeks to “make it exciting, make it empowering, and make it fun.” That simple, compelling philosophy drives the Foundation’s commitment to math, science, and technology education. The AIAA Foundation offers a wealth of resources to support educators from K–12 through university: scholarships, classroom grants, design competitions, and student conferences, improving scientific literacy and advancing the arts and sciences of aerospace. For more information on the AIAA Foundation and its programs for students, teachers, and professionals, please visit AIAA
    AIAA is the world’s largest aerospace professional society, serving a diverse range of more than 30,000 individual members from 88 countries, and 95 corporate members. AIAA members help make the world safer, more connected, more accessible, and more prosperous. For more information, visit, or follow us on Twitter @AIAA.



    About AIAA
    AIAA is the world’s largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession. With more than 30,000 individual members from 88 countries, and 95 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. For more information, visit



    American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
    1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Suite 500, Reston, VA 20191-4344
    Phone: 703.264.7558 Fax: 703.264.7551