I am pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Gregory Schmidt as Director of the Solar System Exploration Virtual Institute (SSERVI), effective September 30, 2018. SSERVI is an innovative, virtual research organization that leverages knowledge and expertise from the science and exploration communities to support NASA’s goals in lunar and planetary science and human exploration of the Solar System. Ames has been the incubator for a novel approach to bringing researchers together to focus on interdisciplinary problems through virtual institutes. Greg is uniquely qualified to lead this organization given his experience serving as the Deputy Director of SSERVI for many years.

Prior to his role as Deputy, Greg served as Associate Director for Strategic Planning in the Ames Science Directorate. During that time, he took part in NASA’s senior executive training program, in which he participated in external details at both the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and the Hewlett Packard Corporation. In parallel, he was a co-founder of the NASA Ames Space Portal–an organization which promotes activities in Entrepreneurial Space–In which he led development of an effort studying a commercially-leveraged lunar science campaign. Within the Space Portal he also established the first known class in space entrepreneurship. As Associate Director, Greg established the Space Tech Center at the NASA Research Park and led development of NASA’s Generations initiative through the Office of Biomedical and Physical Research.

Greg is an Associate Fellow with the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics. He received the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal for his work in astrobiology and life sciences and has received NASA Group Achievement awards for development of the Space Tech Center, Astrobiology, the Spacelab-J mission, the Spacelab Life Sciences-1 mission, and the Leonids Multi-Aircraft Campaign, amongst others. He holds a Master of Science degree in Biotechnology from U.C. San Diego and a B.S. in Physics from U.C. Davis, and he has done additional postgraduate study and research at the U.C. Berkeley Sensor and Actuator Center, where he specialized in MicroElectromechanical Systems (MEMS).

Please join me in congratulating Mr. Gregory Schmidt on his new appointment.

Also, I’d like to thank Dr. Yvonne Pendleton for serving as the Director of both the NASA Lunar Science Institute (2010-13) and the Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (2013-present), where she successfully guided the fledgling virtual institute into a larger realm, building a strong bridge between NASA’s science and human exploration efforts. The combination of her visionary leadership and scientific insights enabled invaluable interdisciplinary research and clearly demonstrated the effectiveness of the virtual institute model for Solar System exploration. I have no doubt of her future success as she returns to astrophysics research in preparation for the James Webb Space Telescope, and I am very pleased she has agreed to do so while continuing to provide guidance as the SSERVI Chief Scientist.

Eugene L. Tu

Posted by: Soderman/SSERVI Staff
Source: NASA Ames Research Center

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