Dr. Bernard A. Harris, Jr.
Board Member | CEO, National Math & Science Initiative
Dr. Harris currently is Chief Executive Officer, National Math & Science Initiative and leads the organization’s efforts to improve teacher effectiveness and student achievement in communities across the country. He has been involved in math and science education for over 25 years through his philanthropy as founder of the Harris Institute & Foundation.
He also serves as Managing Partner of Vesalius Ventures, Inc., a venture capital firm, that invest in early to mid stage Healthcare technologies and companies. He is responsible for managing a portfolio of private assets of early and mid- stage venture investments and operating companies.
Dr. Harris was at NASA for ten years, where he conducted research in musculoskeletal physiology and clinical investigations of space adaptation and developed in-flight medical devices to extend Astronaut stays in space. A veteran astronaut for over twenty years, he has logged more than 438 hours and traveled over 7.2 million miles in space.
He is a member of the Board of Directors for U.S. Physical Therapy (Nasdaq: USPH), Raytheon Technologies (RTX) and Monebo Technologies. Dr. Harris serves as a Board of Director/Trustee for Salient Midstream & MLP Fund and Salient MF Trust, and Barings Fund & Trust. In addition, he is on Boards of the National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine - Board on Health Policy, the Texas Medical Center, CommonSpirit (CHI St. Luke’s) Health System – Texas Division, National Math and Science Initiative, and the Harris Institute & Foundation.
He 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, a Master of Business Administration (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 is also a licensed private pilot and certified scuba diver.
Dr. Harris is the recipient of numerous awards, including 9 honorary doctorates, NASA Space Flight Medal, NASA Award of Merit, a fellow of the American College of Physicians, and was the recipient of the 2000 Horatio Alger Award.
He is the author of “Dream Walker: A Journey of Achievement and Inspiration.”