The universe awaits

Meet Our Leadership

The Giant Magellan Telescope is managed by award-winning scholars, engineers, and business titans who are focused on assembling the resources and international relations required to build the world’s most advanced ground-based telescope in history.
The Giant Magellan Telescope is governed by thirteen leading universities and research institutions from five countries.
  • Walter Massey

    Walter Massey

    Board Chair, Former Director of the National Science Foundation

    Dr. Walter Massey is the Chair of the Board of Directors of the GMTO Corporation. He is also Chairman of the Board of the City Colleges of Chicago and Senior Advisor to the President of the University of Chicago. Dr. Massey is President Emeritus of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), having served as President from 2010-2016, and Chancellor from 2016-2018. He is the former Director of Argonne National Laboratory and former Vice President for Research at the University of Chicago. From 1991 to 1993, Dr. Massey served as Director of the National Science Foundation before joining the University of California system as Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs. In 1995 he became President of Morehouse College, where he served for twelve years. He has been professor of physics at Brown, University of Chicago, and UC Santa Cruz.

    In the corporate sector, Dr. Massey is the former Chairman of Bank of America and a former member of the Board of Directors of the McDonald’s Corporation and Delta Airlines. He has also served on the boards of the Mellon Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Commonwealth Fund, Smithsonian Institution, and others. He has been recognized with honorary degrees from 42 universities, including Harvard, Yale, SAIC, Columbia, and Brown.

  • Taft Armandroff

    Taft Armandroff

    Board Vice-Chair, McDonald Observatory Director and Professor, The University of Texas at Austin

    Dr. Armandroff is the McDonald Observatory Director, a Professor, and Frank and Susan Bash Endowed Chair at the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining UT Austin, Dr. Armandroff was Observatory Director at the W.M. Keck Observatory. He worked for 19 years at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) in Tucson, AZ, where he became Associate Director of NOAO and Director of the NOAO Gemini office. Dr. Armandroff’s research focuses on dwarf spheroidal galaxies, stellar populations in our galaxy and nearby galaxies, globular clusters, and astronomical instrumentation. He has served as an advisor or Board member for the Hobby-Eberly Telescope, the Mauna Kea Management Board at the University of Hawaii, the Observatory Council for the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, the Mathematical and Physical Science Advisory Committee for the National Science Foundation, and the External Advisory Panel for the Thirty Meter Telescope.

  • Wayne Alexander

    Wayne Alexander

    President, SBC Southwestern Bell, Retired

    Mr. Alexander was President of SBC (now AT&T) from 1999 to 2002. During his 32-year career at SBC, he held a variety of executive positions in network operations, sales, marketing, and governmental affairs, and international operations. Prior to his term as President, Mr. Alexander led SBC operations in Chile and the Asia Pacific region. He was VP of sales for Southwestern Bell Yellow Pages, directing network and marketing for Southwestern Bell Texas. Mr. Alexander now serves on a number of boards, including Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio Medical Foundation, LiftFund, Port Authority of San Antonio, UT Austin McDonald Observatory, and Department of Astronomy Board of Visitors, and Missouri University of Science and Technology.

  • João Luiz Azevedo

    João Luiz Azevedo

    Senior Research Engineer, São Paulo Research Foundation

    Dr. João Luiz Azevedo is a Senior Research Engineer at Instituto de Aeronáutica e Espaço (IAE), at the Brazilian Aerospace Technical Center (DCTA), and an Adjunct Professor at ITA. Dr. Azevedo was the Director for Space Transportation and Licensing of the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), from 2004 to 2008, and Technical Vice-Director of the Alcantara Cyclone Space (ACS) Binational Enterprise, from 2008 to 2009. He was also the President of the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) from January 2019 to April 2020. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). He is a member of the AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Technical Committee, since 2004, and member of the AIAA International Activities Committee and of the AIAA Editorial Advisory Board of the Educational Book Series, since 2009. He was the Scientific Director of the Brazilian Society of Mechanical Sciences and Engineering (ABCM), in the 2015–2017 administration of ABCM. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences (ICAS), since 2012, and he is currently the Chair of the Program Committee of ICAS. He is a Member of the Brazilian National Academy of Engineering (ANE) since 2017. Dr. Azevedo studied Aeronautical Engineering at Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica (ITA), from 1977 to 1981. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering from Stanford University, respectively, in 1983 and 1988.

  • Jack Baldauf

    Jack Baldauf

    Interim Vice Provost for Research, Texas A&M University

    In his role as Texas A&M’s Interim Vice Provost for Research, Jack Baldauf, provides leadership for strategic research planning, space and environmental initiatives, faculty development and recognition, and international programs to further the University’s research mission.

    Baldauf is a professor in the Department of Oceanography, College of Geosciences. In his previous positions with the college, he served as executive associate dean and associate dean for research and deputy director and manager of science operations for the International Ocean Discovery Program.

  • Daniel Eisenstein

    Daniel Eisenstein

    Professor of Astronomy and Chair of the Department of Astronomy, Harvard University

    Dr. Eisenstein is a professor of astronomy at Harvard University. He studies cosmology and extragalactic astronomy using theoretical and observational methods. He was part of the University of Arizona astronomy faculty for nine years before moving to Harvard in 2010. He has been active in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and has been the Director of SDSS-III, a collaboration working to map the Milky Way, search for extrasolar planets, and solve the mystery of dark energy since 2007. He is the co-Spokesperson of the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument collaboration. He is a member of the JWST Near-Infrared Camera instrument team, the SDSS-IV Consortium, and the Euclid Consortium. In 2012, he served as chair of the National Science Foundation Astronomy Portfolio Review committee. Currently, he is serving as Chair of the Cosmology Science Panel of the Astro 2020 Decadal Survey. In 2014, he received the Shaw Prize in Astronomy and was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

  • Buell Jannuzi

    Buell Jannuzi

    Steward Observatory Director and head of the Department of Astronomy, University of Arizona

    Dr. Jannuzi heads the Department of Astronomy at the University of Arizona and is the Director of the Steward Observatory, which includes the Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab. He joined the University of Arizona after 17 years at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), during which time he served as Director of Kitt Peak National Observatory and Associate Director at NOAO. He serves as an advisor or Board Member for the Astronomy and Astrophysics Advisory Committee of the NSF, the American Astronomical Society Committee on Astronomy and Public Policy, the AAS Council, and the LSSTC Executive Board of Directors, and was a member of the Thirty Meter Telescope Science Advisory Committee and the International Dark Sky Association Board of Directors. Dr. Jannuzi’s research interests include observational cosmology, quasar absorption line systems, active galaxies, and instrumentation for surveys.

  • Lisa Kewley

    Lisa Kewley

    Director, Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian

    Dr. Kewley is the Director of the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian (CfA), Director of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Director of the Harvard College Observatory, and Professor of Astrophysics at the Harvard Department of Astronomy. Dr. Kewley obtained her PhD in 2002 from the Australian National University on the connection between star-formation and supermassive black holes in galaxies. She was a Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Fellow and a NASA Hubble Fellow. From 2017-2022, she implemented her scientific vision through her Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in All-Sky Astrophysics in 3D (ASTRO 3D).

  • John Mulchaey

    John Mulchaey

    Director, The Observatories of the Carnegie Institution for Science

    Dr. Mulchaey is the director and the Crawford H. Greenewalt Chair of the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution for Science. He also oversees Las Campanas Observatory in Chile—the future home of the GMT. Mulchaey's research covers a wide range of topics, including groups and clusters of galaxies, elliptical galaxies, dark matter—the invisible material that makes up most of the universe—active galaxies and black holes. Dr. Mulchaey received his B.S. in astrophysics from UC-Berkeley and his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. He was a fellow at the Space Telescope Science Institute and at Carnegie before joining the Carnegie staff. Dr. Mulchaey previously served as a scientific editor for The Astrophysical Journal and is a frequent consultant for NSF and NASA. He is also very actively involved in public outreach and education efforts throughout the Los Angeles area.

  • Byeong-Gon Park

    Byeong-Gon Park

    Director, Center for Large Telescopes, Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute

    Dr. Park is the Director of the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI) Center for Large Telescopes and is Professor and Principal Researcher at KASI. He was previously the Director of the Optical/Infrared Astronomy Division and serves as a Board Member for the Korean Astronomical Society. His areas of expertise include star formation in young open clusters in our galaxy, extra-solar planet studies based on gravitational microlensing, and the development of CCD cameras for ground-based optical telescopes. He led the construction of the Korea Microlensing Telescope Network (KMTNet), which consists of three widefield 1.6m telescopes distributed in Chile, South Africa, and Australia, and supported the exploration of the structure and diversity of planetary systems and variable objects, including very low-mass exoplanets.

  • Sarah Pearce

    Sarah Pearce

    Director, SKA Low Telescope

    Sarah Pearce is the Acting Chief Scientist of CSIRO, the Deputy Chief of CASS and the Director of the SKA Low Telescope Project. Prior to these roles, she was Project Manager for GridPP, the UK computing grid for particle physics. Sarah's previous experience includes time as a science advisor in the UK Parliament.

    Sarah is currently the Deputy Director of CASS. Sarah has particular responsibility for CSIRO's role in the Square Kilometre Array project, and manages CSIRO's partnership with the SKA Observatory. She has been Australian Science Director on the SKA Board, and part of the negotiating team for the SKA Treaty. Sarah holds a PhD in X-ray astronomy from the University of Leicester and an undergraduate degree in Physics from the University of Oxford (Worcester College).

  • Joaquin Ruiz

    Joaquin Ruiz

    Vice President for Innovation and Professor of Geosciences, University of Arizona

    Dr. Ruiz is the University of Arizona Vice President of Global Futures, having previously been the Dean of the College of Science and the Executive Dean of the Colleges of Letters, Arts and Science at the University of Arizona. He also serves as the Vice President for Innovation and the Thomas R. Brown Chair and Director of Biosphere 2. Dr. Ruiz is a Professor of Geosciences specializing in Earth Science issues ranging from the origins of life to present-day climate change. He is a Fellow of the Society of Economic Geologists and a member of the American Geophysical Union, the American Chemical Society, the Geochemical Society, and the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science. Dr. Ruiz has served as President of the Geological Society of America and as head of the Department of Geosciences. He is a member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences and was named a “National Researcher” by the Mexican government in 2010. He has served as Secretary of the Volcanology Section of the American Geophysical Union, Councilor of the Geological Society of America, and as a National Science Foundation Panel Member for the Instrumentation and Facilities Program and the Centers for Excellence in Science and Technology Program.

  • Randy Stringer

    Randy Stringer

    Interim Chief Financial Officer, Carnegie Institution for Science
  • Chris Tinney

    Chris Tinney

    Professor of Astronomy, University of New South Wales

    Dr. Tinney is a Professor of Astronomy at the University New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney, where he heads the Exoplanetary Science at UNSW Research Group he founded in 2007. His research focuses on exoplanets and brown dwarfs. He is a Chair of the Anglo-Australian Advisory Council and a member of the National Committee of Astronomy of the Australian Academy of Sciences. He is a Graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Dr. Tinney has served as Head of Astronomy for the Anglo-Australian Observatory. He served as a member of the GMTO Science Advisory Committee from 2009 to 2016. He has been a lead investigator for multiple astronomical instrumentation projects, including the IRIS2 and Veloce instruments for the Anglo-Australian Telescope.

  • Dennis Zaritsky

    Dennis Zaritsky

    Chair, University of Arizona

    Dr. Dennis Zaritsky serves as the Steward Observatory’s Deputy Director as well as a Professor of Astronomy at the University of Arizona. Dennis’s research interests span a range of topics primarily focused on extragalactic observational astronomy. He currently chairs the Giant Magellan Telescope’s Science Advisory Council. Dennis obtained his B.S. in Physics with Honor from the California Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Arizona.

  • Rebecca Bernstein

    Rebecca Bernstein

    Co-Chair, Chief Scientist, Giant Magellan Telescope

    Dr. Bernstein is the Chief Scientist at the GMTO Corporation and plays a leading role in ensuring that the observatory and its instruments will enable scientists at the Founder institutions to meet the project’s scientific goals. She interfaces with the technical and scientific community and represents the project at scientific conferences around the world. She is an accomplished optical designer and builder of scientific instruments, having designed and built a high-resolution spectrograph for Magellan and carried out the optical design for several others. She held professorships at the University of Michigan and the University of California, Santa Cruz before coming to GMTO. While at the University of California she led the design of a spectrograph for the Thirty Meter Telescope. She is a Staff Astronomer at the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution.

  • Daniel Apai

    Daniel Apai

    Associate Professor of Astronomy and Planetary Sciences, The University of Arizona
  • Robert Blum

    Robert Blum

    Acting Director, Vera C. Rubin Observatory
  • Brendan Bowler

    Brendan Bowler

    Assistant Professor in the Department of Astronomy, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Daniel Fabricant

    Daniel Fabricant

    Associate Director, Optical & Infrared Division, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
  • Mike Gladders

    Mike Gladders

    Professor, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, The University of Chicago
  • Jenny Greene

    Jenny Greene

    Assistant Professor of Astrophysics, Princeton
  • Andrew Newman

    Andrew Newman

    Staff Astronomer at Carnegie Institution for Science
  • Casey Papovich

    Casey Papovich

    Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Texas A&M University
  • Rob Sharp

    Rob Sharp

    Australian National University
  • Rob Simcoe

    Rob Simcoe

    MIT
  • Walter Massey

    Walter Massey

    Board Chair, Former Director of the National Science Foundation

    Dr. Walter Massey is the Chair of the Board of Directors of the GMTO Corporation. He is also Chairman of the Board of the City Colleges of Chicago and Senior Advisor to the President of the University of Chicago. Dr. Massey is President Emeritus of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), having served as President from 2010-2016, and Chancellor from 2016-2018. He is the former Director of Argonne National Laboratory and former Vice President for Research at the University of Chicago. From 1991 to 1993, Dr. Massey served as Director of the National Science Foundation before joining the University of California system as Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs. In 1995 he became President of Morehouse College, where he served for twelve years. He has been professor of physics at Brown, University of Chicago, and UC Santa Cruz.

    In the corporate sector, Dr. Massey is the former Chairman of Bank of America and a former member of the Board of Directors of the McDonald’s Corporation and Delta Airlines. He has also served on the boards of the Mellon Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Commonwealth Fund, Smithsonian Institution, and others. He has been recognized with honorary degrees from 42 universities, including Harvard, Yale, SAIC, Columbia, and Brown.

  • Eduardo Ergas

    Eduardo Ergas

    President, Fundación Ecoscience

    Based in Santiago, Chile, Eduardo Ergas is a philanthropist and entrepreneur with broad experience in the financial sector. Eduardo is President of Fundación EcoScience and President President and Owner of EcoCopter. Eduardo belongs to several boards in Chile and the US. In 2004, he founded the Chilean not-for-profit Fundación EcoScience to create a bridge between the scientific community and Chilean society.

  • Patricia López

    Patricia López

    Vice President, Fundación Ecoscience, Architect

    Patricia is the Vice President of Fundación EcoScience and is a commercial architect. She is also the director of the Mi Parque Foundation. Patricia Lopez is the wife of Eduardo Ergas.

  • Jeff Sine

    Jeff Sine

    Co-Founder Raine Group, Co-Founder Sine Institute of Policy & Politics

    Jeff Sine is Co-Founder and Partner of the Raine Group, a global merchant bank focused on technology, media and telecommunications. A three-time Tony Award Winner, Jeff has produced plays and musicals Broadway and in London’s West End.

  • Samira Sine

    Samira Sine

    Journalist, Co-Founder Sine Institute of Policy & Politics

    Samira Sine has more than 15 years’ experience as a journalist, writer, on-air broadcaster, and producer at the BBC’s World Business Report, Reuters, and the Huffington Post. Samira has served on multiple boards of organizations committed to women’s and children’s health and education.

  • George Whitesides

    George Whitesides

    Chair, Space Advisory Board for Virgin Galactic

    George T. Whitesides is CSO (Chief Space Officer) at Virgin Galactic and was long time CEO of Virgin Galactic. Previously, George was Chief of Staff of NASA, and Executive Director of the National Space Society.

  • Robert Shelton

    Robert Shelton

    President, Giant Magellan Telescope

    Dr. Robert Shelton is President of the GMTO Corporation, the international nonprofit organization building the Giant Magellan Telescope. Prior to joining the Giant Magellan Telescope in 2017, Dr. Shelton was the President of the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, America’s first foundation dedicated solely to funding science. Previously, Dr. Shelton served as the 19th President of the University of Arizona, the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, and the Vice Provost for Research for the University of California system. His leadership role involving large astronomy project includes governing board service on the Keck Observatories (California Association for Research in Astronomy), the LSST Corporation (Rubin Observatory), the Space Telescope Institute Council (Hubble Telescope), and the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy.

    As a distinguished physicist, Dr. Shelton studied experimental condensed matter focusing on novel materials and their properties. During this time, he authored more than 240 research publications in refereed journals and 100 contributing papers. Dr. Shelton received his B.S. from Stanford University and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego.

  • Jennifer Eccles

    Jennifer Eccles

    Vice President of Development and External Relations, Giant Magellan Telescope

    Jennifer Eccles is the Vice President for Development and External Relations at GMTO. For ten years, she worked at the University of Southern California in development leadership roles, as the Executive Director of Development at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy and the Chief Development Officer at USC Libraries. Jennifer has spent her career in higher education advancement, and has worked at the University of Washington, Washington State University and the University of Idaho in development roles.

  • Robert Shelton

    Robert Shelton

    President

    Dr. Robert Shelton is President of the GMTO Corporation, the international nonprofit organization building the Giant Magellan Telescope. Prior to joining the Giant Magellan Telescope in 2017, Dr. Shelton was the President of the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, America’s first foundation dedicated solely to funding science. Previously, Dr. Shelton served as the 19th President of the University of Arizona, the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, and the Vice Provost for Research for the University of California system. His leadership role involving large astronomy project includes governing board service on the Keck Observatories (California Association for Research in Astronomy), the LSST Corporation (Rubin Observatory), the Space Telescope Institute Council (Hubble Telescope), and the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy.

    As a distinguished physicist, Dr. Shelton studied experimental condensed matter focusing on novel materials and their properties. During this time, he authored more than 240 research publications in refereed journals and 100 contributing papers. Dr. Shelton received his B.S. from Stanford University and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego.

  • Rebecca Bernstein

    Rebecca Bernstein

    Chief Scientist

    Dr. Bernstein is the Chief Scientist at the GMTO Corporation and plays a leading role in ensuring that the observatory and its instruments will enable scientists at the Founder institutions to meet the project’s scientific goals. She interfaces with the technical and scientific community and represents the project at scientific conferences around the world. She is an accomplished optical designer and builder of scientific instruments, having designed and built a high-resolution spectrograph for Magellan and carried out the optical design for several others. She held professorships at the University of Michigan and the University of California, Santa Cruz before coming to GMTO. While at the University of California she led the design of a spectrograph for the Thirty Meter Telescope. She is a Staff Astronomer at the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution.

  • Oscar Contreras-Villarroel

    Oscar Contreras-Villarroel

    Vice President and Legal Representative, Chile

    Mr. Contreras is the Vice President and Legal Representative in Chile at the GMTO Corporation. He is the founder of the Fundación Ciencia Joven; Board member of the Ecoscience Foundation; Engage Advisory Board member of the Falling Walls Foundation; and an Advisory Board member of HundrED. He has over ten years of experience in government relations at a local and national level, relations with international organizations, multi-stakeholders partnership development, project management, fundraising, grantmaking and philanthropy. He holds a Master in Public Policy from the University of Chile, a Diploma in Public Policy from the Harris School of Public Policy at The University of Chicago, and a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from The Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso.

  • Jennifer Eccles

    Jennifer Eccles

    Vice President for Development and External Relations

    Jennifer Eccles is the Vice President for Development and External Relations at the GMTO Corporation. For ten years, she worked at the University of Southern California in development leadership roles, as the Executive Director of Development at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy and the Chief Development Officer at USC Libraries. Jennifer has spent her career in higher education advancement, and has worked at the University of Washington, Washington State University and the University of Idaho in development roles.

  • James Fanson

    James Fanson

    Project Manager

    Dr. Fanson is the Project Manager at the GMTO Corporation. He is responsible for the overall technical and program management of the project. He leads the staff of engineers, scientists, and schedule and cost analysts responsible for the design, construction, and commissioning of the observatory. He holds a Ph.D. in Applied Mechanics from Caltech and spent 30 years at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), where he developed a number of space-based telescopes. Dr. Fanson played leading roles in many of NASA’s most successful astrophysics programs, particularly the Kepler exoplanet mission, the infrared Spitzer Space Telescope, and the ultraviolet Galaxy Explorer (GALEX). He was a key member of the team that built Wide-Field PlanetaryCamera 2, the instrument that restored Hubble’s vision. Dr. Fanson has served on the Board of Directors for AURA (Associated Universities for Research in Astronomy) and the Gemini Observatory Council.

  • Alan Gordon

    Alan Gordon

    Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Business Operations

    Mr. Gordon is the Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Business Operations for the GMTO Corporation. He leads financial operations and works closely with the Executive Team and Finance Committee to set financial policy and strategic plans. He was Chief Financial Officer at Transcu Group Limited, Segment Financial Officer at SunGard Data Systems, Inc., and Finance Director for Avery Dennison Corporation. He is experienced in U.S. GAAP and IFRS accounting; management and statutory reporting; budgeting, forecasting, planning, and analysis. Mr. Gordon has worked in international finance across Asia and the Pacific Rim.

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