Dr. Harris is currently serves as Chief Executive Officer 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.
Prior to NMSI, he was CEO and Managing Partner of Vesalius Ventures, Inc., a venture capital firm, that invest in early to mid stage Healthcare technologies and companies. As CEO, he was 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), JSA Health, and Monebo Technologies. Dr. Harris serves as a Board of Trustees for Salient Midstream & MLP Fund and Salient MF Trust, and Barings Fund & Trust. In addition, he is on the Board of the National Academy of Medicine, the Texas Medical Center, HealthConnect, 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 honorary doctorates from Stony Brook University (SUNY), Morehouse School of Medicine, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), Washington & Jefferson College, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, University of Hartford and Indiana Institute of Technology, 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.”
Dr. Harris’s goals in life have been achieved through self-empowerment and self-determination. He believes that education and effort will allow anyone to meet any challenge in life, inspiring others to reaches for the stars.