NASA headquarters, eventually becoming the associate administrator for Aeronautics and Space Transportation Technology in 1997. In this position, he led a Research and Technology Enterprise of over 6,000 civil service employees and a similar number of contractors at four research centers with an annual budget of approximately $1.5 billion. During his federal service career, he was awarded both the Presidential Meritorious and Distinguished Executive awards, and at NASA he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Dr. Whitehead earned his BS, MS, and PhD in engineering mechanics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute.