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Dr. Wesley T. Huntress

Dr. Wesley T. Huntress

Dr. Wesley T. Huntress, Jr., Carnegie Institution of Washington (Past Chair) - Director Emeritus, Geophysical Laboratory. Dr.Huntress holds the distinction of being chosen as the first President of The Planetary Society who was not one of the original three founding members. He succeeded Bruce Murray to the position in 2001, having served as the Society’s vice-president from 2000-2001. Huntress is the Director of the Carnegie Institution's Geophysical Laboratory, following a long career at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NASA Headquarters, which included a 5 year stint as NASA’s Associate Administrator for Space Science. Huntress began his career at JPL as a National Research Council Resident Associate before joined the lab permanently in 1969 as a research scientist specializing in ion chemistry and planetary atmospheres. At JPL, Huntress and his research group gained international recognition for their pioneering studies of chemical evolution in interstellar clouds, comets and planetary atmospheres. In addition, he served as a co-investigator for the Ion Mass Spectrometer experiment in the Giotto Halley's Comet mission, as the Coma Interdisciplinary Scientist for the Comet Rendezvous Asteroid Flyby mission, and as JPL Study Scientist for the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite and Cassini missions. In 1988, Dr. Huntress was detailed from JPL as Special Assistant to the Director of the Earth Science and Applications Division at NASA headquarters for two years. In 1990 Huntress was appointed NASA’s Director of the Solar System Exploration Division, and in 1993 he became the Associate Administrator for Space Science where he was responsible for NASA's programs in Astrophysics, Planetary Exploration and Space Physics.