Leland Melvin

Leland Melvin, a retired astronaut, speaks to students at Paul Laurence Dunbar Middle School for Innovation in Lynchburg, VA, May 28, 2019. (Taylor Irby/The News & Advance)

BWX Technologies, Inc. announced Tuesday it has appointed former NASA astronaut Leland D. Melvin to its board of directors.

Melvin spent more than 24 years with NASA as an astronaut, research engineer and administrator, a news release sent Tuesday states.

He served twice on board the space shuttle Atlantis as a mission specialist to support the International Space Station. He retired in 2014.

As head of NASA’s education program, he served as co-chair on the White House’s Federal Coordination in STEM Education Task Force developing the nation’s five-year science, technology, engineering and math education plan.

Melvin served as the United States’ representative and chair of the International Space Education Board, a global collaboration in space education that fosters interest in space, science and technology among students worldwide.

Prior to joining NASA, Melvin was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the 1986 college football draft and later played for the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys. He is currently a member of the board of trustees of the University of Richmond, a director’s fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab and a speaker at the Creative Artists Agency based in California.

“We are very fortunate to add Leland to our board,” John A. Fees, chairman of BWXT, said in the release. “His scientific background and unique experience with NASA and the international community will be very beneficial as we continue to pursue new business opportunities that leverage our long-standing nuclear operations capabilities. We look forward to the contributions he will make.”

Reach Rachael Smith at (434) 385-5482.

Rachael Smith covers local businesses and nonprofits. Reach her at (434) 385-5482.


Born and raised in Lynchburg, I cover local businesses and nonprofits. Email me at: rsmith@newsadvance.com

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