Oklahoma Native Jim Bridenstine Joins Private Sector Days After Resigning As NASA Administrator

Tuesday, January 26th 2021, 6:50 am

Former NASA Administrator and Oklahoma congressman Jim Bridenstine has landed a new job in the private sector less than a week after stepping down with NASA.

Bridenstine is joining an Oklahoma City-based private equity firm that invests in aerospace, defense and intelligence.

Acorn Growth Companies said Bridenstine will work there as a full-time senior advisor.

Bridenstine calls it “a new chapter of service to the United States.”

The company said Bridenstine will return to Tulsa as Acorn “expands its footprint in one of the top seven aerospace regional super-clusters in the world.”

“Jim’s wealth of knowledge in the space, military, aerospace and engineering sectors will be invaluable to Acorn and its portfolio companies as we continue our mission to invest in operating companies that strive to enhance global mobility, protect national interests and develop next-generation intelligence capability,” said Rick Nagel, Managing Partner of Acorn. “He will play a key role in our efforts to deploy capital from our newest investment vehicle, Acorn Aerospace & Defense Fund V.”

Bridenstine is a former Navy Reserve pilot and three-term congressman from Tulsa's 1st Congressional District. Former President Donald Trump appointed Bridenstine to head up NASA in 2018.

Bridenstine resigned from NASA after President Joe Biden was sworn in Wednesday. Bridenstine announced his plans to step down in November, but told Aerospace Daily his decision was not based on partisan reasons but rather, to "ensure that, politically, NASA has the best chance of thriving under new leadership."

"Innovation is found in small and mid-market companies," said Bridenstine. "I'm excited to join this firm and work with disruptors that provide needed innovation to the aerospace and defense industries."

He also said he is looking forward to re-entering the private sector.