John R. "Jack" Dailey (born on February 17, 1934) is a retired United States Marine Corps four-star general who served as Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps (ACMC) and Chief of Staff from 1990 to 1992, Acting Associate Deputy Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) from 1992 to 1999; and director of the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) since 2000.
His career in the Marine Corps spanned thirty-six years and included a wide variety of operational and staff assignments. He is a pilot with over 7000 hours in fixed and rotary wing aircraft. He has extensive command experience including the Marine Corps Systems Command and the Armed Forces Staff College. He flew 450 missions during two tours in Vietnam and has numerous personal decorations which he received for combat operations.
After retirement from the Marine Corps, Dailey served as Associate Deputy Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration from 1992 to 1999. While at NASA, General Dailey led the Agency reinvention activities initiated by the NASA Administrator, guiding the development of new management processes in the face of a reduced budget environment.
Dailey serves as the Director of the National Air and Space Museum.
Since assuming his position in 2000, Dailey has led efforts to expand the size and scope of the museum and increase public outreach. In 2003, in conjunction with the Centennial of Flight, the museum opened a second building, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. More than 300 aircraft and space artifacts are housed in its two hangars: the Boeing Aviation Hangar and James S. McDonnell Space Hangar. In 2011, construction was completed on the center’s second and final component, a section devoted to preservation and restoration of the museum’s collection.
While at the Smithsonian, he has been awarded the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award by the University of California at Los Angeles, the Statesman of Aviation Award from the National Aeronautic Association, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Wings Club, inducted into the Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame and the International Aviation Hall of Fame.