Thomas P. Rona

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Thomas P. Rona
Acting Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy
In office
June 1989 – August 1989
PresidentGeorge H.W. Bush
Preceded byWilliam Robert Graham
Succeeded byWilliam G. Wells
Personal details
Born(1923-01-07)January 7, 1923
Budapest, Hungary
DiedDecember 27, 1997(1997-12-27) (aged 74)
Bethesda, Maryland
Cause of deathHypertensive cardiovascular disease
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma mater
Scientific career
FieldsElectrical engineering
ThesisGas temperature measurements by ultrasonic pulse method (1955)

Thomas P. Rona (1923–1997) was a 1980s era science advisor to the Defense Department and the White House under Presidents Reagan and Bush.

Born on January 7, 1923, in Budapest, Hungary,[1] Rona graduated from Ecole Superieure d'Electricite (M.E., 1943; E.E., 1945); and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.S. in E.E.; Sc.D. in E.E., 1955).[2] He received his license certificate in physical electronics at the Sorbonne in 1946. The author of several books and articles with his best known probably being Our Changing Geo-Political Premises published in 1982. Dr. Rona is also credited by some with coining the term of Information War or warfare which he used in a report entitled "Weapon Systems and Information War" delivered to Boeing in 1976. He worked in Seattle, Washington for the Boeing Company from 1959 to 1984.

During the 1980s, Dr. Rona held various posts in the Executive Branch to include Special Assistant for Space Policy at the Department of Defense, 1984 to 1986 and Assistant Director for Government Programs in the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House, 1986 to 1987. On June 16, 1987, President Ronald Reagan announced Rona's nomination as Associate Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

In June 1989 he briefly succeeded Dr. William Graham by becoming Acting Science Advisor to President George H.W. Bush, a position he held until President Bush's choice was available in August of that year. When Rona left government service, he did private consulting work in the general area of Information Warfare for companies such as Aegis Research Corporation then headquartered in Rosslyn, Virginia.

Rona died at his home in Bethesda, Maryland, on December 27, 1997, from hypertensive cardiovascular disease.[3]


  1. ^ "Nomination of Thomas P. Rona To Be an Associate Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy". White House (Press release). June 16, 1987 – via The American Presidency Project.
  2. ^ Rona, Thomas P. (1955). Gas temperature measurements by ultrasonic pulse method (Ph.D.). Massachusetts Institute of Technology. OCLC 31468165 – via ProQuest. (Subscription required (help)). Cite uses deprecated parameter |subscription= (help)
  3. ^ "Obituaries". Washington Post. January 13, 1998.