Press Release

Frederick A. Tarantino is New President of Universities Space Research Association

By SpaceRef Editor
November 28, 2006
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The Universities Space Research Association announced today that Dr. Frederick A. Tarantino has been selected as its President and CEO. Dr. Tarantino brings to USRA a strong record of management accomplishments for a major nonprofit laboratory, private industry, and the federal government. He was selected through a national search conducted by the USRA Board of Trustees.

During his 19-year career with the U.S. Army, Dr. Tarantino served as U.S. chair of the joint US-UK working group on space power, and led a mission to Russia to procure over 100 tons of advanced Soviet space hardware; then designed, built and operated a special test facility for it. He later was Defense Liaison in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, serving as Executive Assistant to the National Security Council Senior Director for Science and Technology. After this, he was appointed Chief, Air and Missile Defense Branch, in the Office of the Secretary of the Army.

Following his military career, Dr. Tarantino joined the Bechtel Corporation, where he rose to become President and General Manager of Bechtel Nevada Corporation, responsible for management and operations of the Nevada Test Site and 8 associated operating locations. After 8 years with Bechtel, Dr. Tarantino was appointed Principal Associate Director, Nuclear Weapons Program, at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he directed all aspects of a $1.4 billion/year science-based weapons stewardship program.

Dr. Tarantino holds a B.S. degree in Physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, an M.S. in Nuclear Science from the Air Force Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in Nuclear Reactor Physics from MIT. He is also a graduate of the Wharton Business School’s Advanced Management Program. “I am delighted to be joining USRA,” said Dr. Tarantino, who will take over effective December 18th. “It is humbling – and at the same time exciting – to become part of an organization with such a terrific record of scientific accomplishment.”

Dr. Peter Banks, Chair of the USRA Board of Trustees, said, “We are very proud to announce that Dr. Tarantino will be leading USRA. He is an outstanding executive with a solid history of moving organizations forward. We are fortunate to have him.”

About USRA

The Universities Space Research Association is a national consortium of 100 universities established in 1969 by the National Academy of Sciences. USRA operates programs and facilities in space-related science, technology, and education. USRA researchers are involved with university, government and industry scientists and engineers in a broad array of space-related fields, including astronomy and astrophysics, Earth sciences, microgravity, life sciences, space technology, space nuclear power, computer science, and advanced concepts. Most USRA research activities include related educational components. For more information, go to

SpaceRef staff editor.