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USRA Names Dr. Lisa Gaddis as Director of Lunar and Planetary Institute; Dr. Ghassem Asrar Quoted

3 mins read
Dr. Lisa Gaddis
Dr. Lisa Gaddis Director USRA LPI

Universities Space Research Association (USRA) today announced the appointment of Dr. Lisa Gaddis as director of Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), effective November 9th, the organization reported on Wednesday. 

"With Lisa at the helm, I am confident that LPI and its talented team will continue their seminal scientific and technical contributions and attain the next level in service to NASA and the planetary science and exploration community," says Dr. Ghassem Asrar, vice president, Science at USRA.

USRA began managing the Lunar and Planetary Institute, a research organization that supports NASA and planetary science, in 1969. Gaddis will join LPI with a broad range of scientific expertise, including geology and geophysics, remote sensing, planetary science, space mission planning and operations, cartography and data archiving.

She has deep rooted research expertise, including analyzing the composition, physical properties, and geologic history of planetary surfaces in the Solar System, using remote sensing data at a variety of wavelengths. 

In her new role, Gaddis will provide scientific leadership and management of the research and operations of LPI and maintain and grow it as a primary research center in support of NASA's strategic goals in planetary science and Solar System exploration.

Prior to her appointment to USRA, Gaddis served a thirty-year tenure with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Astrogeology Science Center, as a scientist, administrator and supervisor. 

In addition, Gaddis has served as principal investigator (PI) on more than 35 NASA projects, including being the PI of the NASA Planetary Data System Cartography and Imaging Sciences Node from 2004 to 2020. 

Gaddis also served as chief scientist for the USGS Astrogeology Program, serving as PI of the NASA Planetary Cartography Research Program from 2003 to 2007, and managing a staff of 80 people and a budget of $8 million. 

Her NASA flight mission experience includes science and operations roles on the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) and a Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) participating scientist.

She has published multiple papers across scientific journals, written several book chapters and served on several committees and advisory groups for NASA on national and international space science and exploration plans. 

"We are delighted to welcome Lisa as a member of the USRA team. Her scientific and technical expertise, and proven track record in community leadership and executive management skills make her an ideal candidate to guide the Lunar and Planetary Institute into its very promising and bright future," Asrar added. 

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