Gov. John deJongh Jr. has appointed NASA official Adrian Gardner to the board of directors of the University of the Virgin Islands Research and Technology Park Corporation, Government House announced Thursday in a news release.
"Adrian's background and expertise is a tremendous addition to the board. It complements the technical strength of the other members as they recruit and evaluate companies that expand our participation in this area,” deJongh said.
The governor said Gardner’s involvement is a good indication to many students that their interest in science, math and rocketry has practical applications. His recent work at NASA will encourage students of science, technology, engineering and math to continue to explore these areas.
Gardner said as a board member he plans to encourage industry in the Virgin Islands, increase outreach to members of the private sector interested in working in the Caribbean, and help build a robust infrastructure to support communications during emergencies.
“My objective would be to bring some of the technology and innovation knowledge from across the federal government to the Virgin Islands and the board of the Research and Technology Park, so we can position the territory in such a way that it can meet the emerging needs of the Virgin Islands and the Caribbean,” he said.
Appointees to the board serve at the pleasure of the governor up to the maximum term of five years. Gardner's appointment became effective on Aug. 3.
Gardner, who went to school on St. Croix between the seventh and 11th grades, is chief information officer and director of the Information and Technology Communications Directorate for NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, managing the center's information technology assets and mission network infrastructure.
Formerly, he was CIO of the National Weather Service. Gardner has held senior positions at the U.S. Department of Energy. He holds a bachelor's degree from the Tuskegee Institute, a master's of science degree from Hood College in Maryland, a master's of public administration from the University of Southern California, and is working on a doctorate in public administration from the University of Southern California.