Dr. Dominic Benford is the Program Scientist for the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope (formerly known as WFIRST), the Decadal Survey-recommended mission to conduct major surveys in the near-infrared 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. See https://roman.gsfc.nasa.gov for more information. He also oversees the APRA portfolio, providing funding to the community for technology development and suborbital missions. He has had roles in other long wavelength astrophysics activities such as the Origins Space Telescope (https://asd.gsfc.nasa.gov/firs/).
Previously, Dr. Benford was the Chief Scientist for the Cosmic Origins Program Office (cor.gsfc.nasa.gov), where he was responsible for the scientific planning for and execution of future Cosmic Origins missions and the development of their requisite technologies. He was the Deputy Mission Scientist for WISE, the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (wise.ssl.berkeley.edu/), working with Ned Wright (UCLA) to produce a rich sky survey at mid-infrared wavelengths. Dr. Benford was the Deputy PI of the Destiny mission with Tod Lauer (NOAO) to characterize dark energy, and served on the JDEM SCG and ISWG, which ultimately led to WFIRST and thus Roman. He has led and participated in several mission concept studies, including the SAFIR Vision Mission with Dan Lester (U.T. Austin) and Hal Yorke (JPL) which ultimately led to the Origins Space Telescope (working with Margaret Meixner/STScI, Asantha Cooray/UCI, and Dave Leisawitz/NASA-GSFC), and also SPIRIT (with Dave Leisawitz), SPECS (with Martin Harwit/Cornell), and FKSI (with Bill Danchi/NASA-GSFC). He was also the Institutional PI for the SOFIA instrument upgrade HAWC+ (with Darren Dowell/JPL and Johannes Staguhn/JHU - https://www.sofia.usra.edu/science/instruments/hawc), providing the community with differential polarimetric imaging at far-infrared wavelengths. He was heavily involved in developing far-infrared interferometry with the BETTII balloon-borne experiment (with Stephen Rinehart/NASA-GSFC - asd.gsfc.nasa.gov/bettii/), and in supporting cosmic microwave background polarimetry with the PIPER experiment (with Al Kogut/NASA-GSFC).