One of the most important factors in working on a doctoral dissertation is to have plenty of distractions. The trick is to find distractions that help with your dissertation rather than help to avoid it. Over the last year I have had the opportunity to conduct research with a colleague focusing on space and GPS-related issues, and I have been fortunate to meet some fascinating and brilliant people. Of these, two I would like to reflect on are NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and former U.S. Air Force Space Command Commander General (Ret.) William Shelton.
Many years ago, when I was helping to staff the Department of Defense with senior political appointees, I was present when Bolden turned down a senior position in the administration. During the early days of the Obama Administration, this was just not done.