In this interview, David Zierler, Oral Historian for AIP, interviews John Galayda, Project Director for the NSTXU project at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. Galayda recounts his childhood in New Jersey and his undergraduate experience at Lehigh University. He discusses his research work as a graduate student at Rutgers, where he was interested in applying accelerator physics to energy supply solutions, and where he focused on quantum field theory. Galayda discusses his research at Brookhaven he worked on the NSLS and the Transverse Optical Klystron. He explains his decision to move to Argonne where he conducted research on X-ray beams, and he describes the factors that convinced him to join SLAC in 2001. Galayda describes SLAC’s interest in building a next-generation Linear Collider. He explains some of the major research questions that propelled the LCLS and he describes the recruitment process that led to his current work at PPPL. In the last portion of the interview, Galayda surmises on the future of plasma physics and he emphasizes the importance of working with good people.