Bruce Carlson serves as the director of the National Reconnaissance Office, a position he has held since June 2009.
NRO, launched in 1961, is the agency responsible for designing, building, launching and maintaining U.S. intelligence satellites and is one of the 16 member agencies of the intelligence community.
Before he was appointed NRO director, Carlson served as a defense-industry consultant and as a member of the board of directors for EADS North America.
Carlson retired from the Air Force in January 2009 after serving as commander of the service’s Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. While there, he had responsibility for 74,000 people and $59 billion annually. He was promoted from lieutenant general to general, earning his fourth star in 2005.
Carlson has been awarded the Defense Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster and the Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, among others.
He holds degrees from the University of Minnesota, Webster University and is a graduate of the Naval War College.