The Hon. Daniel Goldin
Advisory Council Member
GTSC Commissioner for Space Technologies and Systems, Longest-Serving Former NASA Administrator ('92 to '01)
Daniel Saul Goldin served as the 9th and longest-tenured Administrator of NASA from April 1, 1992, to November 17, 2001. He was appointed by President George H. W. Bush and also served under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. He is an entrepreneur and technologist. Most recently he is the founder of Cold Canyon AI, an innovation advisory company. His career has spanned numerous technologies and businesses in space science, aeronautics, national security, semiconductors, and artificial intelligence.
He began his career at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio that year (1962), and worked on electric propulsion systems for human interplanetary travel. Goldin left NASA after five years to work at the TRW Space and Technology Group in Redondo Beach, California. Goldin spent 25 years at TRW, climbing to the position of Vice President and General Manager. There, he spent much of his time on classified military and intelligence space programs.
He was NASA Administrator from 1992 to 2001, and was known for his support for a “Faster, better, cheaper” philosophy. He was known as a demanding but efficient manager.
Upon joining NASA, Goldin reflected on the failed Mars Observer project and described his dissatisfaction with the agency’s workflow: “so much is riding on each flight that NASA can’t afford to have them fail — leading to more caution, delay, and expense.” He said to make spacecraft smaller, lighter, and inexpensive, so that NASA could take more risks and not fear making mistakes. He encouraged the team defining what would become JWST to use a larger beryllium mirror.
The strategic importance of space and near-space technologies for the US cannot be overstated, as it is impossible to envision US national security and economic prosperity without a commitment to ensuring its access to space. If the US fails to lead all aspects of space, including satellite communications, reconnaissance, surveillance, natural resource exploration and acquisition, zero-gravity manufacturing, earth observation, lunar and cislunar exploration and operations, planetary exploration and operations and astrophysical observations, the result would have dire implications for many US industries—such as commercial, financial services, health care, and media—as well as military operations.