Dr. Mark Clampin, Astrophysics Division Director

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Dr. Mark Clampin is the Astrophysics Division Director in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC. The goals of the Astrophysics Division are to understand how the universe works,  understand how we got here and to address the question, are we alone?

Until August 2022, Dr. Clampin was the Director of the Sciences and Exploration Directorate (SED) at the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) where he led the Astrophysics, Solar System, Heliophysics and Earth Science Divisions, together with the high performance computing office. 

At GSFC, he previously served as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Observatory Project Scientist, and subsequently as Director of the Astrophysics Science Division and Deputy Director of SED.  Prior to joining GSFC, Dr Clampin was the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) Group Lead at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), where he worked on the first four Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Servicing Missions. Dr. Clampin is a Co-Investigator with the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), and the Advanced camera for Surveys (ACS) science team and served as the Detector Scientist, responsible for the delivery of  three focal plane camera systems. His research interests focus on studying the formation and evolution of planetary systems. Dr. Clampin has also designed ground-based telescope instruments including adaptive optics systems, coronagraphs and detectors.

Dr. Clampin graduated from the University of London with a BS in Physics and from the University of Saint Andrews in Scotland, with PhD in Astronomy. Dr. Clampin is the recipient of the Meritorious Presidential Rank Award,  NASA’s Exceptional Achievement and Scientific Achievement Medals, and is a Fellow of SPIE and the Royal Astronomical Society,. Until recently he was the Chief Editor of the SPIE peer-reviewed Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments and Systems, a position he held for 7 years.  He is married with one daughter, and enjoys running and his lifelong passion scuba diving.