Astrophysics Staff Bios

Dr. Paul Hertz, Director
Paul Hertz was named Director of the Astrophysics Division in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA in March 2012. He previously served as the Chief Scientist of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, managing the Directorate’s science solicitation activities and ensuring the scientific integrity of the Directorate’s programs.

Ms. Andrea Razzaghi, Deputy Director
Andrea Razzaghi was selected as the Deputy Director of Astrophysics in September 2012. She provides executive leadership, strategic direction, and overall management of the programs and projects in the Astrophysics Division of the NASA Science Mission Directorate.

Dr. Dominic Benford
Dr. Dominic Benford is the Program Scientist for WFIRST-AFTA, the Decadal Survey-recommended mission to conduct major surveys in the near-infrared. He is also the Program Scientist for the Herschel mission and has science roles in other far-infrared astrophysics activities.

Dr. Daniel Evans
Daniel Evans is the Program Scientist for the NASA Astrophysics Senior Review of Operating Missions, and Program Scientist for the X-ray Surveyor mission concept. He is the Deputy Program Scientist for the Athena and Hitomi missions, the Physics of the Cosmos Program and he serves as Deputy Lead for Astrophysics Research.

Mr. John Gagosian
John Gagosian serves as the Program Executive for the Exoplanet Exploration Program and the WFIRST (Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope) Mission.

Dr. Michael Garcia
Michael Garcia is the lead for the Astrophysics Research and Analysis program and the Program Scientist for the Hubble and Athena missions.

Dr. Hashima Hasan
Hashima Hasan is the NASA Program Scientist for the Keck Observatory, the SOFIA mission, ADCAR and is Deputy Program Scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope.  She also serves as the Education Lead for Astrophysics.

Dr. Shahid Habib
Shahid Habib is Program Executive for the Stratospheric Observatory for Far Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), Physics of the Cosmos (PCOS) and Cosmic Origin (COS) programs.

Dr. Jeffrey Hayes
Jeffrey Hayes is a Discipline Scientist in the Astrophysics and Heliophysics Divisions at NASA HQ and the Program Executive for the 8 operational Astrophysics missions (as of 2016) as well as the 19 operational NASA Heliophysics missions.

Dr. Stefan Immler
Dr. Stefan Immler is a Program Scientist, Discipline Scientist, and Program Officer in the Astrophysics Division at NASA Headquarters.

Dr. Mario R. Perez
Dr. Perez is the Discipline Scientist for Ultraviolet and Optical technologies within the Astrophysics Division at NASA Headquarters, Science Mission Directorate. 

Dr. Rita Sambruna
Dr. Rita Sambruna is the Program Scientist for the Physics of the Cosmos Program and for the NICER mission (Neutron star Interior Composition ExploreR). She is also the division lead for Strategy and Planning as well as the Deputy Program Officer for the ADAP program.

Dr. Linda Sparke
Dr. Sparke held positions at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge, and the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute in Groningen (Netherlands). She then moved to the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a professor of Astronomy.  She is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. Before joining NASA, she spent two years as a Program Officer in Astronomical Sciences at the National Science Foundation.