Mr. Griffin is the former Director of the NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston. His career in the United States space program began in 1960 and has included senior positions in government and industry. At NASA, in addition to his position as Director of the Johnson Space Center, he also served as the Deputy Director of the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida and the Hugh F. Dryden Flight Research Center in California.
During NASA's Apollo Program, Mr. Griffin was a Flight Director in Mission Control and served in this capacity for all of the Apollo manned missions. He was Lead Flight Director for three lunar landing missions: Apollo's 12, 15 and 17. During the flight of Apollo 13, Mr. Griffin was scheduled to lead the lunar landing team in Mission Control.
When the landing was canceled after the oxygen tank explosion, he led one of the teams of flight controllers who were responsible for the safe return of the astronauts.
Mr. Griffin was a technical advisor for the movie Apollo 13, a Universal Studios picture starring Tom Hanks and directed by Ron Howard. In February 1997, he finished his second movie, Contact, a Warner Brothers picture starring Jodie Foster and directed by Robert Zemeckis, the director of Forrest Gump. In Contact, Mr. Griffin was a technical advisor and actor. In September 1997, Mr. Griffin began working as a technical advisor for the movie, Deep Impact, a production of DreamWorks SKG, a Steven Spielberg company.
Mr. Griffin is the recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award of Texas A&M University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering. He also is the recipient of the Texas A&M University College of Engineering Alumni Honor Award, the Tau Beta Pi Eminent Engineer Award, and the Texas A&M University Corps of Cadets Hall of Honor Award. Mr. Griffin holds the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Houston Clear Lake. Mr. Griffin is a Senior Fellow of the Eaker Institute for Aerospace Studies and a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the American Astronautical Society, the British Interplanetary Society.