Bernard A. Harris, Jr. | AIChE

Bernard A. Harris, Jr.

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner
Vesalius Ventures, Inc.

Dr. Bernard A. Harris, Jr. is currently Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner of Vesalius Ventures, Inc., a venture capital firm that invests in early to mid-stage Healthcare technologies and companies. As CEO, he is responsible for managing a portfolio of private assets of early and mid- stage venture investments and operating companies.  Prior to Vesalius Ventures, Harris worked with Vanguard Ventures, a $500 million early-stage venture capital firm focused in life sciences, information technology and telecommunications.  He led the company’s emerging VC accelerator in telemedicine for 6 years. Harris is also a veteran Astronaut and President of the Harris Foundation, a non-profit organization that focuses on education, health and wealth initiatives. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Houston, a Master of Medical Science from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Houston Clear Lake and a Doctorate of Medicine from Texas Tech University School of Medicine.  Harris was a Mission Specialist on the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1993 and Payload Commander on Space Shuttle Discovery in 1995.  As Payload Commander on Space Shuttle Discovery STS-63 in 1995, he served on the first flight of the joint Russian-American Space Program, becoming the “First African American to walk in Space”.  A veteran astronaut for over twenty years, he has logged more than 438 hours and traveled over 7.2 million miles in space.

He is the recipient of numerous awards, including honorary doctorates from Stony Brook University (SUNY), Morehouse School of Medicine, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and the University of Hartford, as well as the NASA Space Flight Medal, a NASA Award of Merit, a fellow of the American College of Physicians, and the 2000 Horatio Alger Award.

Dr. Harris’ goals in life have been achieved through self-empowerment and self-determination.  He believes that education and effort will allow anyone to meet any challenge in life, inspiring others to reach for the stars.