The Heinlein Society Board of Directors
Mr. Haldeman was born in Oklahoma in 1943, received a Bachelor of Science in astronomy from the University of Maryland in 1967, and was shortly thereafter drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served as a combat engineer in the Central Highlands of Viet Nam as a member of the 1/22 Airmobile Bn, 4th Infantry Division, and received a Purple Heart for wounds incurred in action in 1968. After his military service, Joe enrolled at the University of Maryland for graduate studies in math and computer sciences, but dropped out to write full- time. His numerous novels, short stories, poetry, and theatrical adaptations have won substantial recognition, including the Hugo, Nebula, Ditmar, Galaxy, Campbell and Rhysling Awards, among others. Adjunct Professor Haldeman teaches writing every fall semester at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and has taught elsewhere. Joe has served on the Board of Advisors of the National Space Society, as Science Fiction Writers of America’s Treasurer for two and one-half years; as Chairman of their Grievance Committee for 18 months, and as their President in 1992-1994. Elected a Director by the Board in August 2003, he has been re-elected by the membership several times, most recently in 2013. He is married to Gay Potter Haldeman, his wife of forty years as of 2005, and they live in Gainesville, Florida and Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Additional information concerning Mr. Haldeman may be found here: http://home.earthlink.net/~haldeman/
Dr. Pournelle was born in 1933, in Shreveport, Louisiana. He served in the US Army during the Korean War. After military service he obtained advanced degrees in psychology, statistics, engineering and political science including two PhDs from the University of Washington. He has held many positions in the aerospace industry, and worked at Boeing, Aerospace Corporation, and the Space division of North American. His last aerospace assignment was a classified study for Project Apollo. He served as Associate Professor of Political Science at Pepperdine University. In the 1969 he was appointed Executive Assistant to the Mayor for the City of Los Angeles. He was manager of the Sam Yorty reelection campaign in 1969 as well as manager of the Barry Goldwater Jr. campaign for Congress. He later made use of that experience later when he edited Robert Heinlein’s unpublished “How To Be a Politician” which was released as Take Back Your Government! (1992). Jerry is also a noted lecturer, essayist, consultant and advisor, computer columnist, and holds memberships in and has served as a board member to numerous professional space- related organizations. From 1980 to present he has been the Chairman of the Citizens Advisory Council on National Space Policy, a policy advisory group. He has served as a past President of the Science Fiction Writers of America. His fiction and non-fiction writings are extensive and have been awarded recognition including the Campbell, Evans-Freehafer, Seiun, Prometheus, Forrie, Inkpot awards, and the 2005 Heinlein Award. Jerry is married to Roberta Jane nee Isdell. They have four sons and one daughter and currently reside in Studio City, California. Dr. Pournelle was elected by the membership as a Director in September 2005 and re-elected in 2008 and 2011.
Additional information concerning Dr. Pournelle may be found here: www.jerrypournelle.com
Mike Sheffield – President
Mr. Sheffield was born in San Diego, California, in 1960. He served 4 years in the U.S. Air Force as an Electronic Warfare Systems Specialist with the 37th Tactical Fighter Wing “Wild Weasels”. At the end of his service in 1985 he began working at TRW Space & Technology (now Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems) where he has been for more than 25 years. During his time there he has worked in several departments, including Quality Assurance, Satellite Integration, Test and Launch and his current position as a Software Engineer in Ground Systems. He began organizing SF convention blood drives at Conucopia, the 1999 NASFiC in Anaheim, California, and has been involved in every Worldcon blood drive since then. He joined The Heinlein Society in September 2001 and later that year became the chairperson of their blood drive committee, where he served until April of 2011. He was appointed to the board of directors in June 2006 to fill one of the positions in the newly expanded board, and reelected in 2008 and 2011. In June of 2004 he married his wife, Sharon, who is one of the most brilliant people he has ever met. They live in Long Beach, California. Mike has a predilection for wearing kilts, much like Lazarus Long. Mike was elected President of The Heinlein Society in 2010, re-elected in 2012.
George E. “Geo” Rule is a native Californian returned to the roots of his Minnesotan ancestors by his wife, Deb Houdek Rule, who he had the great good fortune to meet as a result of their common membership in a Heinlein fan group. Mr. Rule has been an active participant of the Heinlein community since early 1992 as a member of the Heinlein Forum, the oldest online Heinlein fan group. Prior to his involvement with The Heinlein Society, Mr. Rule and his wife ran their own Heinlein-themed website. Mr. Rule has authored, co-authored, or been editor on various online articles having to do with the works or history of Robert A. Heinlein. He has served previously as Chair of the Academic section of the Society, and in addition to his board responsibilities is also currently serving as Education Chair, where he led the Society’s effort to produce the Educator’s CD available to all interested educators for free at their request. Mr. Rule also helps out as contributor to the online Heinlein Archives project. In his spare time, he is also an amateur historian on the American Civil War in Missouri, and has been published in an academic journal on the subject.
He was elected to a three year term in 2007, and re-elected in 2010 and 2013.
Keith G. Kato – Vice President/Secretary
Keith G. Kato was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1950. He attended UCLA and the University of California, Irvine, obtaining his Ph.D in plasma physics at the latter under the direction of SF author Gregory Benford. Since 1983 Keith has worked for an applied physics R&D group. He has seven patents, and has given numerous papers at scientific conferences. Keith has also been a martial artist since 1965, and holds the 4th degree black belt in Shōtōkan karate-dō. He is a patron of the arts, and in any given year sees 40-50 musicals, plays, concerts, and operas. Keith began attending SF conventions in 1972, and since 1974 has been hosting his famous “Keith Kato Chili Party” at major SF conventions around the world. He is a Charter Member of The Heinlein Society (having attended the exploratory formation meeting in July, 1998); is chairman of THS’s Social Activities committee; and was elected to THS’s Board of Directors in 2009, where he now serves as Vice President/Secretary. He was re-elected unanimously to a three year term in 2012. Keith was also a “Cell C” mid-level manager and worker bee at the 2007 Heinlein Centennial in Kansas City. He was fortunate to meet Robert and Ginny Heinlein three times. Keith lives in Alta Loma, California, aka “Cucamonga” for all you Jack Benny fans.
Deb Houdek Rule
Deb Houdek Rule is a native of Minnesota, growing up on a farm near Pine City, MN. A graduate of the University of Southern California in Cinema-Television Production, she has worked in broadcast engineering since 1983. She has also worked extensively in television and video, writing, producing, and editing numerous video productions, including “Earthscape,” a tour of Earth from space using NASA footage which aired for PBS in California.
Under the name D. A. Houdek she has published numerous science fiction and fantasy short stories, with her first published non-fiction article under that name being a biography of Robert Heinlein. As D. H. Rule she researched and published a groundbreaking piece of non-fiction Civil War research,”Sultana: A Case for Sabotage,” focusing on Confederate secret service operations in the Trans-Mississippi. Deb met her husband, Geo Rule, online on the Heinlein Forum in 1992, marrying him in 1995. She was webmaster for the Heinlein Society in 2003, designing and building the past and current website. She also works for the Heinlein Prize Trust, building their websites, as well as designing and building the online Heinlein Archives website. As a donation, she built a website for the Butler Public Library of Butler, Missouri, Robert Heinlein’s hometown.
Ms. Rule was elected by the Board to an open seat, and she was re-elected unanimously to a three year term in 2012.
Additional information concerning Ms. Rule may be found here:
Mr. Cassutt was born in Owatonna, Minnesota, in 1954, but grew up in Hudson, Wisconsin. He graduated from the University of Arizona in 1975, working in television and radio in Tucson until moving to Los Angeles in 1978. He was an executive with CBS TV from 1979 to 1985, and since then has been a freelance writer and producer. He began publishing short SF in Amazing in 1974, going on to contribute stories to F&SF, Asimov’s, Universe and other magazines and anthologies. He is the author of six novels, from 1986’s The Star Country to the forthcoming Heaven’s Shadow (Ace 2011, with David S. Goyer). He has also written extensively on manned spaceflight, co-authoring the autobiographies of astronauts Deke Slayton and Tom Stafford, compiling the Who’s Who in Space encyclopedia (three editions) and publishing articles in Air & Space. His primary work, however, has been in television, writing scripts for such series as The Twilight Zone, Max Headroom, Eerie, Indiana, StrangeLuck, and The Dead Zone, among others. He also teaches TV writing at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, and for ten years wrote a column about SF television for Scifi.com.
He met Robert and Virginia Heinlein in 1977 and corresponded with them for many years. He has contributed to The Heinlein Journal, and was a panelist at the Heinlein Centennial.
Mr. Cassutt was elected by the Board to an open seat, and he was re-elected unanimously to a three year term in 2012.
Connie Willis is an internationally-known science fiction author and the winner of an unprecedented total of six Nebula Awards and ten Hugo Awards and is the first author to have ever won both awards in all four fiction categories. She has also won numerous Locus Awards (given by Locus Magazine), and was named by them Best Science Fiction Author of the Nineties.
Willis is the author of Doomsday Book, winner of the Nebula and Hugo Awards for Best Science Fiction Novel; Lincoln’s Dreams, winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best Science Fiction Novel; Remake;Uncharted Territory; Bellwether; To Say Nothing of the Dog, winner of the Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, and Passage, and the short story collections Fire Watch, Impossible Things, Miracle and Other Christmas Stories, and The Winds of Marble Arch, but she is probably most famous for her short stories, including “Fire Watch,” “Even the Queen,” and “The Last of The Winnebagos.”
Her most recent novel, a two-volume work entitled Blackout and All Clear, is set in World War II, in the middle of the evacuation of Dunkirk, the intelligence war, and the London Blitz. Blackout made the New York Times Bestseller List and was described by the Washington Post as “bravura storytelling by…a novelist who can plot like Agatha Christie and whose books possess a bounce and stylishness that Preston Sturges might envy.”
She is currently working on a new novel about Roswell, alien abduction, cattle mutilations, and Area 51. It is, of course, a comedy.
Ms. Willis lives in Colorado with her very nice husband, an even nicer bulldog, and two kittens who are the spawn of Satan. She loves screwball comedies, Shakespeare, Dorothy Parker, church choirs, chocolate, Mark Twain, and Andrew Lee Potts, not necessarily in that order.
Ms. Willis was elected to the board in 2010, and re-elected in 2013.
John Tilden – Treasurer
John was born in New York and currently resides near Baltimore, Maryland. He first encountered Robert Heinlein’s work as one of the cool books with the “atom” sticker on the spine in the library’s fiction section. After college, he read the uncut Stranger in a Strange Land for the first time and was prompted to go ‘online’ to the new Prodigy network to see if anyone else wanted to discuss Heinlein. He found a simple subject line entitled “Heinlein Forum” and posted a reply. Over twenty years later, the discussion of Heinlein’s work is still a pretty good way to meet interesting people online and in-person.
John works for the federal government as a mid-level IT security professional. He has served on the board of his local community association and is still its webmaster. He spent eight years on the national board of his fraternity, Alpha Sigma Phi, and serves as his chapter’s Alumni Association President. He is married with two sons. He enjoys collecting comics and practicing Okinawan Goju-ryu karate.
John is a charter member of the Heinlein Society and has volunteered at blood drives and local conventional panels. He was also pleased to attend and help out in a small way with the Heinlein Centennial effort, including a panel presentation about Heinlein Fandom Online that was unfortunately scheduled opposite a Spider Robinson talk. He was elected to serve out a term in 2012 as Treasurer of the Society.