Biographies of Committee Members and Staff
D. JAMES BAKER, Co-Chair, is the director of the Global Carbon Measurement Program of the William J. Clinton Foundation, where he currently focuses on the use of forestry programs to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and to alleviate poverty in developing countries. He is also a science and management consultant with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (Paris) and the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment (Washington, D.C.). During the 1990s, Dr. Baker was administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere, where he guided the completion of the modernization of the National Weather Service, initiated new climate forecasting services, and merged civil and military environmental satellite systems. Dr. Baker was educated as a physicist, practiced as an oceanographer, and has held science and management positions in academia, not-for-profit organizations, and government institutions. Dr. Baker has served on more than 30 National Research Council (NRC) committees, most recently the Panel on Oceans (Physical) of the Committee on Climate, Energy, and National Security.
DANIEL N. BAKER, Co-Chair, is director of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and is a professor of astrophysical and planetary sciences and a professor of physics there. His primary research interest is the study of plasma physical and energetic particle phenomena in planetary magnetospheres and in Earth’s vicinity. He conducts research in space instrument design, space physics data analysis, and magnetospheric modeling. He currently is an investigator on several NASA space missions, including the MESSENGER mission to Mercury, the Magnetospheric MultiScale (MMS) mission, and the Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) mission. Dr. Baker has published more than 750 papers in the refereed literature and has edited six books on topics in space physics. He is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He has won numerous awards for his research efforts and for his management activities, including recognition by the Institute for Scientific Information, where he is “highly cited” in space research. Dr. Baker was chosen as a 2007 winner of the University of Colorado’s Robert L. Stearns Award for outstanding research, service, and teaching. Dr. Baker was the 2010 winner of the American Institute of Astronautics and Aeronautics (AIAA) James A. Van Allen Space Environments Medal and was the recipient of the 2010 Distinguished Research Lecturer Award—the highest honor bestowed on a University of Colorado faculty member by fellow faculty. Professor Baker is an associate of the National Academy of Sciences (2004) and was recently elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). He currently serves on several national and international scientific and advisory committees,
including committees of the NRC, the U.S. Air Force, and other federal agencies. He was a member of the NRC’s Space Studies Board, the Solar and Space Physics Survey Committee (2001-2003), and the 2006 Assessment Committee for the National Space Weather Program. Professor Baker has been selected to chair the next decadal survey (2013-2022) in solar and space physics.
DAVID A. BEARDEN is the general manager of the Aerospace Corporation’s NASA Programs Office, where he manages and provides technical direction to staff supporting various NASA human exploration and science programs, including the Constellation program, the Mars program, the Astrophysics program, the Discovery/New Frontiers programs, and other missions at NASA headquarters and field centers. His expertise lies in project management and space systems architectural assessment, including conceptual design, simulation, and programmatic analysis of space systems. He led the Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Analysis of Alternatives, which earned him the 2006 Aerospace Corporation’s President’s Award. He has also led various mission studies, including the Lunar Robotic Exploration Architecture study and the Mars Sample Return studies. He served on the NRC Beyond Einstein Program Assessment Committee in 2008. Dr. Bearden has served on a number of standing review boards and led development of the Small Satellite Cost and Complexity-based Risk Assessment (CoBRA) models and their application to NASA independent reviews. He also led deployment of the Concurrent Engineering Methodology at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Project Design Center. He has authored chapters in Space Mission Analysis and Design and Reducing the Cost of Space Systems. He was the recipient of the Aviation Week & Space Technology Annual Aerospace Laurels in 2000 for conducting “the first quantitative assessment of NASA’s faster-better-cheaper initiative in space exploration.” He holds a Ph.D. and an M.S. in aerospace engineering from the University of Southern California and a B.S. in mechanical engineering/computer science from the University of Utah.
CHARLES L. BENNETT is a professor of physics and astronomy at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Bennett’s research interests include experimental cosmology and astronomical instrumentation. He is the principal investigator (PI) for the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) mission, which quantitatively specified the age, content, history, and other key properties of the universe with unprecedented precision. Previous to his work on WMAP, Dr. Bennett was the deputy PI of the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) Differential Microwave Radiometers instrument. Dr. Bennett received the 2009 Comstock Prize in Physics, the 2006 Harvey Prize, and the 2005 Henry Draper Medal. He also shared the 2006 Gruber Prize in Cosmology. From 1984 to 2005, Dr. Bennett was an astrophysicist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, where he won the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal and twice won the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal. Dr. Bennett is a member of the NAS and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is also a fellow of the American Association of Arts and Sciences and of the American Physical Society. Dr. Bennett served on the NRC’s Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics and the Space Studies Board.
STACEY W. BOLAND is a senior systems engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory working in Earth mission concepts. Dr. Boland is the observatory system engineer for the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) Earth System Science Pathfinder mission. She is also a cross-disciplinary generalist specializing in Earth-mission concept development and systems engineering and mission architecture development for advanced (future) Earth observing mission concepts, which involves a variety of remote sensing instruments applicable to a number of scientific fields, particularly atmospheric science. Dr. Boland received her B.S. in physics from the University of Texas, Dallas, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from California Institute of Technology. Dr. Boland was awarded NASA’s Exceptional Achievement Medal in 2009. She has served as a consultant to the NRC Earth Science and Applications from Space: A Community Assessment and Strategy for the Future study; the Panel on Options to Ensure the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft; and the Committee on a Strategy to Mitigate the Impact of Sensor Descopes and Demanifests on the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft.
ANTONIO J. BUSALACCHI, JR., is director of the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC) and a professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science at the University of Maryland. Dr. Busalacchi joined ESSIC in 2000 after serving as chief of the NASA GSFC Laboratory for Hydrospheric Processes. In 1999,
he was appointed co-chair of the Scientific Steering Group for the World Climate Research Programme on Climate Variability and Predictability (CLIVAR). Dr. Busalacchi’s ongoing area of research is the role of tropical ocean circulation in the coupled climate system. He has a doctorate in oceanography from Florida State University. Dr. Busalacchi’s NRC service includes membership on the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate and serving as chair of the Climate Research Committee. He is currently a member of the Committee on Earth Studies.
CARLOS E. DEL CASTILLO is a member of the senior professional staff with the Space Department of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and the William S. Parsons Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. Dr. Del Castillo started his career at the University of Puerto Rico studying the effects of oil pollution in tropical marine environments. Later, at the University of South Florida, his interest in organic carbon biogeochemistry and the carbon cycle led him to the use of remote sensing to study biogeochemical and physical processes in the oceans through a combination of remote sensing and field and laboratory experiments. While working at NASA as a researcher, Dr. Del Castillo also served as project manager at Stennis Space Center and as a program scientist at NASA headquarters. He served on several interagency working groups, chaired NASA and NSF workshops, and is now a member of NASA’s Carbon Cycle and Ecosystem Management and Operations Working Group. Dr. Del Castillo received the William Sackett Prize for Innovation and Excellence in Research from the University of South Florida (1999), the NASA Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (2004), and the Emerald Honors Trailblazer Award (2007), among others. He received his B.S. in biology and M.S. in marine chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico and his Ph.D. in oceanography from the University of South Florida.
ANTONIO L. ELIAS is executive vice president and general manager for advanced programs at Orbital Sciences Corporation. Previously, he served as Orbital’s chief technical officer (1996-1997), corporate senior vice president (1992-1996), and Orbital’s first vice president for engineering (1989-1992). From 1987 to 1997, he led the technical team that designed and built the Pegasus air-launched booster, flying as a launch vehicle operator on the carrier aircraft for the rocket’s first and fourth flights. He also led the design teams of Orbital’s APEX and Sea Star satellites and the X-34 hypersonic research vehicle. Dr. Elias came to Orbital from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he held various teaching and research positions, including the Boeing Chair in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Dr. Elias is a member of the NAE and a fellow of the AIAA, the American Astronautical Society (AAS), and IAA. His awards include the 1991 AIAA Engineer of the Year, the AIAA Aircraft Design Award, and the AAS Brouwer Award. He is also a co-recipient of the National Medal of Technology and the National Air and Space Museum Trophy.
MARGARET FINARELLI is currently a senior fellow at the Center for Aerospace Policy Research of George Mason University. Her prior career with NASA and other federal government agencies focused on interagency policy development and international space cooperation. Ms. Finarelli joined NASA’s International Affairs Division in 1981 and undertook the conceptual development and negotiation of numerous international space science, Earth science, and space infrastructure projects. She has served as NASA’s deputy associate administrator for external relations and was appointed associate administrator for policy coordination and international relations. She serves as the vice president for public policy for AAS, is a member of the International Activities Committee of the AIAA, and is on the board of advisers for Students for the Exploration and Development of Space-USA. Ms. Finarelli received NASA’s Exceptional Service Medal (1985) and NASA’s Exceptional Achievement Medal (1991). She was elected to the IAA in 2003. In 2004, she was awarded the AIAA’s International Cooperation Award and was elected as a fellow of the AAS. In 2005, she was elected an associate fellow of the AIAA. Ms. Finarelli has a master of science degree in physical chemistry from Drexel University.
TODD R. LaPORTE is a professor of political science at the University of California, Berkeley. Previously, he was also associate director of the Institute of Governmental Studies and held faculty posts at the University of Southern California and Stanford University. Dr. LaPorte teaches and publishes in the areas of organization theory, technology, and politics and the organizational and decision-making dynamics of large, complex, technologically
intensive organizations, as well as public attitudes toward advanced technologies and the challenges of governance in a technological society. At Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) he examined the institutional challenges of multi-generation nuclear missions. In a parallel effort, he is examining the institutional evolution of the National Polar-orbiter Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS). In 1985, Dr. LaPorte was elected to the National Academy of Public Administration. He has served on the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board of the Department of Energy and chaired its Task Force on Radioactive Waste Management, which examined questions of institutional trustworthiness. Dr. LaPorte was also on the Technical Review Committee of LANL’s Nuclear Materials Technology Division. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University.
MARGARET S. LEINEN is the associate provost of marine and environmental initiatives and the executive director of Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Florida Atlantic University. She was formerly the head of the Climate Response Fund, a nonprofit organization created to provide funding and support other activities needed to explore innovative solutions to the climate crisis facing the world. Previously she was the chief science officer of Climos, Inc., a start-up company leveraging natural processes to mitigate climate change. Before joining Climos in 2006, Dr. Leinen served for 7 years as the assistant director for geosciences at NSF. While at NSF, she served as the vice chair of the Interagency Climate Change Science Program of the federal government and as the co-chair of the Joint Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology, which developed the first interagency assessment of national priorities for ocean research. She was the U.S. representative to the International Group of Funding Agencies for Global Change Research and the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research. Dr. Leinen also served as the first cross-agency coordinator of the NSF portfolio of activities in environmental research and education. She was responsible for the biocomplexity in the environment priority area of the NSF and initiated NSF-wide activities in cyberinfrastructure for the environment and in observing systems for the environment. At the University of Rhode Island, Dr. Leinen served as dean of the Graduate School of Oceanography and dean of the College of Environment and Life Sciences and was the vice provost for marine and environmental programs. She is a well-known researcher in the areas of paleoceanography, paleoclimatology, and biogeochemical cycling in the ocean and is a fellow of the AAAS and the Geological Society of America. Dr. Leinen received her B.S. in geology from the University of Illinois, her M.S. in geological oceanography from Oregon State University, and her Ph.D. in geological oceanography from the University of Rhode Island. Dr. Leinen’s most recent NRC service was as a member of the Committee on Global Change Research (1995-1998).
SCOTT N. PACE is the director of the Space Policy Institute and professor of the practice of international affairs at the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. His research interests include civil, commercial, and national security space policy and the management of technical innovation. He has served as the associate administrator for program analysis and evaluation at NASA, where he was responsible for providing objective studies and analyses in support of policy, program, and budget decisions by the NASA administrator. He previously served as chief technologist for space communications in NASA’s Office of Space Operations, where he was responsible for issues related to space-based information systems. Dr. Pace also previously served as the deputy chief of staff to NASA administrator Sean O’Keefe. Prior to joining NASA, Dr. Pace was the assistant director for space and aeronautics in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), where he was responsible for space- and aviation-related issues and coordination of civil and commercial space issues through the Space Policy Coordinating Committee of the National Security Council. Dr. Pace received a B.S. degree in physics from Harvey Mudd College and a master’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics and technology and policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and a doctorate in policy analysis from the RAND Graduate School. He was a member of the NRC Committee on Earth Studies but resigned in the first year of his appointment in order to take a position at NASA headquarters.
GRAEME L. STEPHENS is a professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at Colorado State University. His research activities focus on atmospheric radiation and on the application of remote sensing in climate research, with particular emphasis on understanding the role of hydrological processes in climate change. His other activities include the development of Doppler lidar for measurement of boundary layer winds and studies in
atmospheric visibility. Dr. Stephens is the principal investigator of NASA’s Cloudsat Mission. He is the author of Remote Sensing of the Lower Atmosphere: An Introduction. His most recent NRC service includes membership on the Committee on a Strategy to Mitigate the Impact of Sensor De-Scopes and De-Manifests on the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft, the Committee on the Future of Rainfall Measuring Missions, the Panel on Climate Change Feedbacks, and the Committee on Earth Studies.
ANNALISA L. WEIGEL is the Jerome C. Hunsacker Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Weigel’s research interests include aerospace policy and economics, aerospace systems architecting and design, innovation and change dynamics in the aerospace industry, and systems engineering. She began her professional career as an engineer at Adroit Systems, first supporting the Defense Airborne Reconnaissance Office as an analyst for manned and unmanned platforms. Later, she worked in support of the DOD Space Architect Office during its stand-up and initial space system architecture design studies in the areas of satellite communications, satellite operations, and launch on demand. Dr. Weigel was elected as an AIAA associate fellow in 2007. She received an S.B. and an S.M. in aeronautics and astronautics and a Ph.D. in technology, management, and policy from MIT. She also received a second S.B. in science, technology, and society from MIT and an M.A. in international relations from George Washington University.
MICHAEL S. WITHERELL is vice chancellor for research at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). Dr. Witherell also holds a University of California Presidential Chair in the UCSB Physics Department. Dr. Witherell served as director of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), the largest particle physics laboratory in the country, from 1999 to 2005. From 1981 to 1999, he was a faculty member in the UCSB Physics Department. Dr. Witherell has done research in particle physics with accelerators at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, and Cornell Laboratory for Elementary Particle Physics, in addition to Fermilab. In 1990, his work at Fermilab studying charm quarks brought him the prestigious W.K.H. Panofsky Prize in Experimental Particle Physics, awarded annually by the American Physical Society (APS). Dr. Witherell was elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences in 1998 for his work in the application of new technologies that “profoundly influenced all subsequent experiments aimed at the study of heavy-quark states.” In 2004, he received the U.S. secretary of energy’s Gold Award, the highest honorary award of the Department of Energy. He is a fellow of the AAAS and the APS. Dr. Witherell’s most recent NRC service was as a member of the Committee on NASA’s Beyond Einstein Program.
A. THOMAS YOUNG is a retired executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Mr. Young previously was president and chief operating officer of Martin Marietta Corporation. Prior to joining industry, Mr. Young worked for 21 years at NASA, where he directed the Goddard Space Flight Center, was deputy director of the Ames Research Center, and directed the Planetary Program in the Office of Space Science. Mr. Young received high acclaim for his technical leadership in organizing and directing national space and defense programs, especially the Viking program. Mr. Young is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He currently serves as the vice chair of the NRC Space Studies Board and formerly served on the Committee on the Scientific Context for Space Exploration (2004-2005), the Committee on Systems Integration for Project Constellation (2004), and the Committee on a New Science Strategy for Solar System Exploration (2001-2002), and he previously chaired the Committee for Technological Literacy.
ARTHUR A. CHARO, Study Director, joined the Space Studies Board (SSB) as a senior program officer in 1995. He has directed studies that have resulted in some 30 reports, notably the first National Research Council (NRC) decadal survey in solar and space physics (2002) and in Earth science and applications from space (2007). Dr. Charo received his Ph.D. in physics from Duke University in 1981 and was a postdoctoral fellow in chemical physics at Harvard University from 1982 to 1985. He then pursued his interests in national security and arms control at Harvard University’s Center for Science and International Affairs, where he was a research fellow from 1985
to 1988. From 1988 to 1995, he worked as a senior analyst and study director in the International Security and Space Program in the U.S. Congress’s Office of Technology Assessment. Dr. Charo is a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in International Security (1985-1987) and a Harvard-Sloan Foundation Fellowship (1987-1988). He was the 1988-1989 American Institute of Physics AAAS Congressional Science Fellow. In addition to NRC reports, he is the author of research papers in molecular spectroscopy, reports on arms control and space policy, and the monograph “Continental Air Defense: A Neglected Dimension of Strategic Defense” (University Press of America, 1990).
JOSEPH K. ALEXANDER served previously as director of the SSB (1998-2005), deputy assistant administrator for science in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Research and Development (1994-1998), associate director of space sciences at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (1993-1994), and assistant associate administrator for space sciences and applications in the NASA Office of Space Science and Applications (1987-1993). Other positions have included deputy NASA chief scientist and senior policy analyst at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Mr. Alexander’s own research work has been in radio astronomy and space physics. He received B.S. and M.A. degrees in physics from the College of William and Mary.
ABIGAIL A. SHEFFER is an associate program officer with the SSB. She first came to the SSB in the fall of 2009 as a Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellow working with Dr. David Smith. Dr. Sheffer received her Ph.D. in planetary science from the University of Arizona and her A.B. in geosciences from Princeton University. She has assisted with several NRC reports including Defending Planet Earth: Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies.
CATHERINE A. GRUBER, editor, joined the SSB as a senior program assistant in 1995. Ms. Gruber first came to the NRC in 1988 as a senior secretary for the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board and also worked as an outreach assistant for the National Science Resources Center. She was a research assistant (chemist) in the National Institute of Mental Health’s Laboratory of Cell Biology for 2 years. She has a B.A. in natural science from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.
CARMELA J. CHAMBERLAIN, administrative coordinator, has worked for the National Academies since 1974. She started as a senior project assistant at the Institute for Laboratory Animals for Research, which is now a board in the Division on Earth and Life Studies, where she worked for 2 years, then transferred to the SSB. She has previously served as a senior program assistant and as a program associate with the SSB.
TERRI BAKER is a senior program assistant. She comes to SSB from the National Academies’ Center for Education. Mrs. Baker has held numerous managerial, administrative, and coordinative positions.
MICHAEL H. MOLONEY is the director of the SSB and the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board at the NRC. Since joining the NRC in 2001, Dr. Moloney has served as a study director at the National Materials Advisory Board, the Board on Physics and Astronomy (BPA), the Board on Manufacturing and Engineering Design, and the Center for Economic, Governance, and International Studies. Before joining the SSB and ASEB in April 2010, he was associate director of the BPA and study director for the Astro2010 decadal survey for astronomy and astrophysics. In addition to his professional experience at the NRC, Dr. Moloney has more than 7 years’ experience as a foreign-service officer for the Irish government and served in that capacity at the Embassy of Ireland in Washington, D.C., the Mission of Ireland to the United Nations in New York, and the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin, Ireland. A physicist, Dr. Moloney did his graduate Ph.D. work at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland. He received his undergraduate degree in experimental physics at University College Dublin, where he was awarded the Nevin Medal for Physics.