Joseph P. Allen
First term: 2002–2006
Second term: Elected June 2010
NOLS Courses: Joe has participated in a number of Board trips and alumni events.
Joe, a NOLS parent and former astronaut, holds an MS and PhD in physics from Yale University and an undergraduate degree in mathematics and physics from DePauw University.
In 1967, NASA selected Joe as a member of its class of Scientist-Astronauts, a position he held until 1985. While at NASA, he served as a mission controller for Apollo 15, Apollo 17, and Space Shuttle flight STS-1. He later flew as an astronaut aboard STS-5, the first mission space shuttle to carry cargo to orbit, and then aboard STS-14, the only mission to date to salvage cargo from orbit.
During his NASA career, Joe also served as assistant administrator of the agency from 1975–1978 and as director of astronaut training and operations in the early 1980s. He is the author of Entering Space: An Astronaut's Odyssey, a personal account of the space flight experience, and he has published widely in the fields of physics and space research.
Following his NASA service, Joe served as President and CEO of Space Industries, Inc. and then as chairman of the board of directors of Veridian Corporation when Space Industries became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange under this new name. Veridian was an advanced information technology company specializing in decision support and knowledge management, information systems and communications, modeling and simulation, systems integration, and engineering and analysis until it was purchased by General Dynamics in 2003.
Although now officially "retired," Joe still serves as director of United Space Alliance in Houston, Texas; director of Actioneer, Inc., in Boston, Massachusetts; trustee of the Challenger Center, a charitable organization sponsoring Space Science Education projects in North America and England; trustee of DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana; trustee of the Monterey Bay Research Institute in Moss Landing, California; and trustee of The Potomac School, a K through 12 school in McLean, Virginia.
A Fulbright Scholar, Joe’s awards include the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal, the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, the Wilber Cross Medal from Yale University, and the Lloyd's of London Silver Medal for Meritorious Services. He is also an inductee into the U.S. National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and the Astronaut Hall of Fame in Cape Kennedy, Florida.