Lunar and Planetary Institute
Lunar and Planetary Institute


Dr. Frederick  A. TarantinoUSRA Announces New President

November 27, 2006

The Universities Space Research Association (USRA) has announced 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 of the 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 eight associated operating locations.  After eight 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 a 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.”

For more information about USRA, please visit the following website:

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