Robert Rivers was born in Jacksonville, Florida and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics in 1973. After a tour as a Naval Aviator flying F-8 Crusaders, he worked as a pilot for Eastern Air Lines flying Boeing 727 aircraft while continuing to fly the Crusader in the Naval Reserve. In 1985 he earned a Masters Degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Virginia, and in 1986 began work as a Research Pilot for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration at the Johnson Space Center where he flew the Gulfstream II/Shuttle Training Aircraft, T-38, and other NASA aircraft. In 1990 he transferred to a Research Pilot position at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. There he flew dozens of fighter, transport, and general aviation aircraft as well as numerous research flight simulators testing beyond state of the art aircraft designs. In 1998 he became the first Western pilot to fly the Russian/Tupolev Tu-144 Supersonic Transport beyond Mach 2 and the only pilot to have flown both the Concorde and Tu-144 SSTs. In 2004 he returned to the Johnson Space Center where he flew the WB-57 experimental High Altitude Research Aircraft, the Gulfstream III, and the T-38. Mr. Rivers has accumulated over 12,500 flight hours in over 60 aircraft types including the Boeing 727, 737, and 757 transport aircraft, the A-4, F-8, F-5, F-16, F-18, and F-15 fighter as well as numerous General Aviation, Business jet, and NASA experimental aircraft. Mr. Rivers retired from NASA in 2009 and lives in Oxford, NC with his family where he founded and is President of Citizens for Public Ethics, a not-for-profit corporation whose mission is to raise the ethical standards of our society. He is also a writer, aviation consultant, and contract test pilot.<br /> <br /> Mr. Rivers is the recipient of numerous awards including the first NASA Aviation Professional of the Year Award, the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, and the Director’s Commendation Award. He is a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots where he was awarded the Ray E. Tenhoff Award for Most Outstanding Paper at the 53rd Symposium in 2009. He is very active in youth programs in his community.