Kay Bailey Hutchison

Kay Bailey Hutchison
Kay Bailey Hutchison
(Photo provided by Kay Bailey Hutchison)

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The Rotary National Award for Space Achievement (RNASA) Foundation has selected former United States Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) to receive the 2013 National Space Trophy.

Kay Bailey Hutchison is a former United States Senator (R-TX) who served from June 1993 through January 2013. As the first and only woman elected to the Senate from the State of Texas, she also became the first U.S. Senator from Texas to receive four million votes in a single election.

Originally from La Marque, Texas, Hutchison graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor of arts degree in 1962. She went on to earn a J.D. from the University of Texas Law School. Her political career began in 1972 with her election to the Texas House of Representatives where she served until 1976. She went on to serve as vice-chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board from 1976 to 1978. She then left politics for business until 1990 when she was elected Texas State Treasurer. In 1993, Hutchison became the first woman to be elected to represent Texas in the United States Senate. She was re-elected one year later to a six-year-term and again in 2006 by an overwhelming margin. From 2001 to 2007, Hutchison served as the Senate Republican Conference Chairwoman, making her the fourth-ranking Republican in the Senate. During her time in the Senate, she swas the senior Republican member of the Science and Space Subcommittee of the Commerce Committee. She also served as a member of the Commerce, Justice and Science Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee, which included NASA funding jurisdiction.

She retired from the Senate in January 2013 and is now a senior counsel with the Dallas law firm, Bracewell & Giuliani, LLP, and on the Bank of America's Global Advisory Council. Hutchison and her husband, Ray, live in Dallas with their two adopted children. Hutchison and her husband, Ray, live in Dallas with their two adopted children.

Commitment to Space
Exercising strong leadership on the Senate Commerce Committee's Science and Space Subcommittee, Hutchison worked hand-in-hand with NASA and the National Science Foundation on behalf of America's space and science programs. In 2005, the Senator led the preparation of the first NASA Authorization bill in five years. That legislation provided the policy guidance outlining NASA's exploration and research future and was signed into law by President George W. Bush. In 2010, as the senior Republican on the full Senate Commerce Committee, and the Ranking Republican on the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Subcommittee, Hutchison was instrumental in forging a third, and perhaps most influential, NASA reauthorization bill which broke a space policy deadlock between Congress and the White House.

She also led the charge to promote the International Space Station (ISS) as a National Laboratory. Her support and this designation has paved the way for groundbreaking research among non-NASA government agencies, universities, and the private sector aboard the ISS.

Commitment to Education
Hutchison's commitment to educational excellence has been evident through her work on programs such as the America COMPETES Act and The Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science of Texas (TAMEST). The America COMPETES Act, which became law in 2007, invests in the development of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education, and prepares students for future careers in aerospace. In 2010, Hutchison went on to include a provision in the reauthorization bill that allows participating colleges and universities to certify STEM majors as elementary and secondary school teachers.

In her home state of Texas, Hutchison helped establish the Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science of Texas (TAMEST) to recognize the state's top achievers in these fields. TAMEST's success has not only brought federal investments to Texas institutions but has established the state as an important destination and center of achievement in these fields. Due to the success of this program, ten Nobel Laureates and hundreds of National Academy members now call Texas institutions home.

Current as of March 2013

For a more complete profile, please see the Souvenir Program Book (pdf).

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