Augustine has been honored on many occasions for his leadership and service to the nation. In 1997 he was awarded the National Medal of Technology for his visionary leadership of the aerospace industry in the development of leading-edge technologies such as space vehicles, "smart" weapons, information systems, and advanced aircraft systems. Five times he has earned the Defense Department's highest civilian decoration, the Distinguished Service Medal, in addition to a number of meritorious service awards from U.S. government agencies, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army, Air Force, NASA, Treasury Department, and Central Intelligence Agency.
"Our entire nation – and its scientific and engineering enterprises in particular – owes an enormous debt to Norm Augustine," said Ralph J. Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences. "Acting on his strong personal conviction that sound national policy must embrace the very best in science and engineering, he has personally made a very real difference in our nation's life and to its welfare."
Augustine's long-standing commitment to national science policy has included serving on the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology in both Democratic and Republican administrations. He has led the Defense Science Board, the Defense Policy Advisory Committee on Trade, the National Science Foundation's U.S. Antarctic Program External Panel, the NASA/White House committee on the U.S. space program, and the Blue Ribbon Panel on Conflict of Interest Policies at the National Institutes of Health, and also served on the Hart-Rudman Commission on National Security.
At the National Academies, Augustine served as chairman of the National Academy of Engineering from 1994 to 1996. He has chaired National Research Council study panels such as the Committee on the Organization and Management of Research in Astronomy and Astrophysics and served on the Committee on the Organizational Structure of the National Institutes of Health. In 2005 he led the highly influential National Academies panel that authored "Rising Above the Gathering Storm," a congressionally requested report that laid out a detailed list of steps federal policymakers could take to ensure a strong competitive position for America in the emerging global economy.
"Norm Augustine is an effective advocate for wise long-range policies in the mostly short-range world of Washington policymaking," said John Brauman, home secretary of the National Academy of Sciences and chair of the selection committee. "He is a talented leader with the ability to cut through complex issues quickly and bring diverse groups of people together to focus on getting results."
Augustine is the recipient of numerous honorary degrees in science, engineering, management, and law, and sits on the board of directors of ConocoPhillips, Black & Decker, and Procter & Gamble. For nine years he was chairman and principal officer of the American Red Cross. He also has served as a trustee of Princeton University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Johns Hopkins University.
A past president of the Boy Scouts of America, he is an avid outdoors enthusiast who has trekked extensively around the world, including dogsledding in the Arctic, exploring volcanoes in Antarctica, canoeing the Boundary Waters of Canada, and snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef. He has stood on both poles of the Earth.
Born in Colorado in 1935, Augustine attended East Denver High School and graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University, where he earned bachelor's and master's degrees in engineering. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, Tau Beta Pi, and Sigma Xi.
The Public Welfare Medal will be presented to Augustine during this year's NAS annual meeting, to take place April 22-25. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit institution that provides science advice under a congressional charter.
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