Heliophysics Leadership

Nicola Fox, Heliophysics Division Director

Nicola Fox is the Heliophysics Division Director in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC. Heliophysics is not only vital to understanding Earth’s most important and life-sustaining star, but the study of key space phenomena and processes supports situational awareness to better protect astronauts, satellites, and robotic missions exploring the solar system and beyond.

Until August 2018, Fox worked at the Applied Physics Lab at the Johns Hopkins University in Laurel, Maryland, where she was the chief scientist for Heliophysics and the project scientist for NASA’s Parker Solar Probe – humanity’s first mission to a star. Fox is a proven leader with extensive project, program and supervisory experience, having served as the deputy project scientist for the Van Allen Probes, and the operations scientist for the International Solar Terrestrial Physics program. She has authored numerous scientific articles and papers in addition to delivering science presentations worldwide. In addition to her research, she is also keenly involved with science education and outreach activities.

Fox was born in Hitchin, Hertfordshire in England. She graduated from The Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine in London with a BS in Physics. She received an MS in Telematics and Satellite Communications from the University of Surrey. She then returned to Imperial College to complete a PhD in Space and Atmospheric Physics. She has also previously worked at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, receiving a number of agency awards for outstanding performance.


Margaret Luce, Heliophysics Division Deputy Director


Margaret (Peg) Luce is the Deputy Director of the Heliophysics Division in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters. The Heliophysics Division manages a portfolio of space systems and scientific research dedicated to studying the Sun, heliosphere, and planetary environments as elements of a single interconnected system. Prior to joining Heliophysics in 2015, she had served for seven years as the Deputy Director of NASA’s Earth Science Division.

Luce joined NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in 1987 following six years of engineering experience in the private sector. Throughout her career, Luce has been involved in the development of spaceflight systems to support NASA’s science programs. At Goddard, she served in a number of leadership roles in the Flight Projects Directorate, including Project Manager for the Earth Observing System Aura Mission, Associate Director of Flight Projects for Project Formulation, and Chief of the Advanced Concepts and Formulation Office.

Luce received a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Mechanics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.