Rutgers–Camden Finest is an assembly of graduates whose lives and careers have made an indelible mark upon society and the advancement of knowledge.
Associate Chief Counsel for International Matters, NASA
Rebecca M. Bresnik received her bachelor’s degree in international relations from the University of Delaware in 1991 and did a study abroad program at Kansai Gaidai University in Japan from 1989 to 1990. She received her master’s degree in Asian studies/Japanese from the University of Texas at Austin in 1994, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Rutgers Law School in Camden in 1999, when she also did a summer law program at Doshisha University in Japan in the summer of 1997. She received her master of law degree in international law from the University of Houston in 2007. In 2012, she was a NASA Fellowship recipient and attended the Space Odyssey Institute.
Bresnik started her legal career in 1999, clerking for the Superior Court of New Jersey in Camden. She then took a position as associate general counsel for the Office of the General Counsel of the Air Force at the Pentagon in 2000. During her time at the Pentagon she also worked for the Undersecretary of the Air Force for International Affairs doing international armaments cooperation agreements to improve interoperability for coalition warfare. She was detailed to a high-level working group to review U.S. Air Force Academy’s cadet complaints concerning the Academy’s program of deterrence and response to sexual assault allegations. In 2004, Bresnik took a position with Northrop Grumman’s Air Combat Systems and Unmanned Air Systems in Rancho Bernardo, Cal. She was responsible for establishing a joint venture company with EADS, which acts as the national prime contractor in providing unmanned air vehicle capabilities to the German MoD.
In 2004, Bresnik joined the Office of Chief Counsel at NASA’s Johnson Space Center and currently is the associate chief counsel for international matters and is the lead attorney for International Space Station legal issues. In this role, some of her duties include advising on the multimillion-dollar negotiations and purchases of crew transportation, rescue, and related launch services for NASA astronauts to the ISS; advising on international agreements and contracting between the ISS Partners – the European, Japanese, Russian, and Canadian space agencies; and agreements that further NASA exploration beyond low earth orbit.
Bresnik has been awarded the General Counsel Forum-Magna Stella Award 2013 for Outstanding Assistant Counsel; the 2011 NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal; the 2014 NASA Exceptional Service Medal; the Space Flight Awareness Award (2013, 2015, 2016); the NASA Legal Teamwork Award (2012, 2013, 2016); the Johnson Space Center Group Achievement Award, (2008, 2011, 2012, 2013); the 2008 JSC Center Director's Commendation Award; and an Exemplary Civilian Service Award for Distinguished Performance from the Department of the Air Force in 2002.
Born in Ridgewood, N.J., she is married to Col. Randolph James Bresnik of Santa Monica, Cal. They have a son and a daughter. She enjoys travel, Tae Kwon Do, reading, sky diving, cooking, and especially spending time with her family and numerous volunteer activities.