Astrophysics Staff Bios

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Dr. Mark Clampin
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?

Mrs. Sandra Cauffman
Mrs. Sandra Cauffman was selected as the Deputy Director of the Astrophysics Division in the Science Mission Directorate in November of 2021. She previously served as the Deputy Division Director of the SMD Earth Science Division.

Dr. Eric Smith
Dr. Eric Smith is the Associate Director for Research in the Science Mission Directorate's Astrophysics Division at NASA Headquarters.  He is also the Program Scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope.

Joe Smith
Joe Smith is the Associate Director for Flight at NASA Headquarters Science Mission Directorate, Astrophysics Division, responsible for overseeing the project management and systems engineering of the many Astrophysics missions in development and operations, as well as technology projects. 

Dr. Dominic Benford
Dr. Dominic Benford is the Program Scientist for the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, the mission to answer fundamental questions of the nature of dark energy, the distribution of dark matter, the occurrence of planets around other stars, and even to enable the direct imaging of planetary systems.

Dr. Valerie Connaughton
Dr. Valerie Connaughton is the Program Scientist for the US contribution to JAXA’s X-ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission (XRISM), Israel Space Agency’s Ultravioletet Satellite (ULTRASAT), ESA’s X-ray Multi-Mirror Mission (XMM), leads the High-Energy portfolio of the Astrophysics Division at NASA Headquarters, is a Discipline Scientist for the Particle Astrophysics portfolio, and is the Program Scientist for the Physics of the Cosmos Program.

Dr. Antonino Cucchiara
Dr. Antonino Cucchiara is the Lead Program Scientist for the Future Investigator in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology (FINESST) student research grants program. He is also the deputy Program Scientist for the Fermi mission which focuses on the detection of some of the most energetic and catastrophic events in the Universe.

Dr. Michael Garcia
Dr. Michael Garcia is the lead for the Astrophysics Pioneers, SmallSats and CubeSats, and the Program Scientist for the Hubble and Athena missions.

Dr. Shahid Habib
Dr. Habib is Program Executive for the Physics of the Cosmos (PCOS) and Cosmic Origin (COS) programs and several international flight missions under development.

Dr. Hashima Hasan
Hashima Hasan is the NASA Program Scientist for the Nuclear Spectroscopic Array (NuSTAR), Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE), the Keck Observatory and Astrophysics Data Curation and Archival Research (ADCAR) program, and is Deputy Program Scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope. She serves as the Education and Communication Lead for Astrophysics and as the Executive Secretary of the Astrophysics Advisory Committee.

Dr. Douglas Hudgins
Dr. Douglas Hudgins serves as the Program Scientist for NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program (ExEP) and TESS mission, Deputy Program Scientist for the Kepler mission, and Program Officer for the Astrophysics Data Analysis Program (ADAP), ApD’s flagship research and analysis (R&A) grants program.

Dr. Stefan Immler
Dr. Stefan Immler is a Program Scientist and Program Officer in the Astrophysics Division at NASA Headquarters, the Lead for the Astrophysics Research and Analysis Program, and the Program Scientist for the Chandra X-Ray Observatory.

Dr. William B. Latter
Dr. William B. Latter (“Bill”) is the SPHEREx Program Scientist, Fermi Program Scientist, Deputy GUSTO Program Scientist, Lead Program Officer for Laboratory Astrophysics, and Discipline Scientist for the Far-Infrared in the Astrophysics Division at NASA Headquarters.

Dr. Lucas Paganini
Dr. Lucas Paganini is Deputy Program Executive for the Roman Space Telescope (Roman) in the Astrophysics Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC.

Dr. Joshua Pepper
Dr. Joshua Pepper is a Deputy Program Scientist for the Exoplanet Exploration Program (ExEP), Deputy Program Officer for the Astrophysics Data Analysis Program (ADAP), and Program Scientist for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission.  He also works on the Time Domain And Multi-Messenger (TDAMM) program and the NASA Open Science Initiative.

Dr. Mario R. Perez
Dr. Perez is the Astrophysics Chief Technologist within the Astrophysics Division.  He is also the lead for the Strategic Astrophysics Technology (SAT) Program, the Roman Technology Fellowship (RTF), the Internal Scientist Funding Model (ISFM), the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) division lead, and the Swift Program Scientist.

Dr. Linda Sparke
Linda Sparke is a Program Scientist working on the Astrophysics Explorers Program, and Program Executive for the Astrophysics Data Archives.