The Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) was one of the largest and most successful programs of international marine geoscience ever undertaken. It was one in a series of scientific drilling programs that owed its huge success to the participation and contributions of many gifted and dedicated individuals. Many will agree, however, that one person in particular stood out as having played a major role in shaping the nature of this valuable program and its resulting successes. That person was Bruce Malfait, ODP Program Director at the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). NSF was the lead agency, which managed ODP on behalf of the participating international community. Bruce was the perfect choice for the NSF job when he took the reins of ODP in its early days. He had already had a long and exemplary career at NSF, which provided him with a comprehensive overview and in-depth knowledge of marine geological and geophysical research at home and abroad. Bruce’s immediate prior position at NSF had been as the Director of the Marine Geology and Geophysics Program (MG&G) in the Division of Ocean Sciences. Bruce was responsible for funding much of the MG&G research in the United States. By virtue of this experience, he was well suited to be a leader of the program that provided such a critical and unique asset to the study of marine geology.