Bernard Harris

National Math and Science Initiative

As CEO, Dr. Harris leads NMSI’s work to improve teacher effectiveness and student achievement. He’s been involved in math and science education for over 25 years through NMSI and the Harris Institute & Foundation.

Dr. Harris previously was CEO and Managing Partner of Vesalius Ventures, Inc., a Healthcare investment group.

Dr. Harris was at NASA for 10 years, where he conducted research in musculoskeletal physiology and clinical investigations of space adaptation. He developed in-flight medical devices to extend astronaut stays in space, logged more than 438 hours in space, traveled over 7.2 million miles and made history as the first African American to complete a spacewalk.

He’s on the Board of Directors for U.S. Physical Therapy, JSA Health and Monebo Technologies. He serves as Trustee for Salient Midstream & MLP Fund and Salient MF Trust, and Barings Fund & Trust. He’s also on the Board of the National Academy of Medicine, the Texas Medical Center, HealthConnect, National Math and Science Initiative and the Harris Institute & Foundation.

Dr. Harris 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, an MBA from the University of Houston and a Doctorate of Medicine from Texas Tech University 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 Aerospace School of Medicine, Brooks Air Force Base. He’s also a licensed private pilot and certified scuba diver.

Dr. Harris has received numerous awards, including honorary doctorates from Stony Brook University (SUNY) and Morehouse School of Medicine, NASA Space Flight Medal, NASA Award of Merit, a fellow of the American College of Physicians, and the 2000 Horatio Alger Award.

He is the author of “Dream Walker: A Journey of Achievement and Inspiration.”

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