VAO, LLC: Governance

The Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) and the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) created the VAO, LLC to manage and operate the Virtual Astronomical Observatory for NSF and NASA. VAO Science Priorities are based upon input from the US astronomy community and in particular upon advice from the VAO Science Council. The Program Council works with the Program Manager and Director to define work packages and allocate budgets for the annual Project Execution Plan.

VAO, LLC
1400 16th Street NW, Suite 730
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 462-1676


VAO Director
Robert J. Hanisch
Space Telescope Science Institute

VAO LLC Treasurer
Deborah Narcisso
Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc

VAO LLC Secretary
John Mester
Associated Universities, Inc.

VAO Interim Business Manager
Maricel Claro
Associated Universities, Inc.


Board of Directors

  • John (Jay) S. Gallagher, III (Chair)
    Professor of Astronomy University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Roscoe C. Giles
    Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Deputy Director of the Center for Computational Science Boston University
  • E. Scott Kirkpatrick
    Professor of Computer Science, School of Engineering and Computer Science The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Bruce H. Margon
    Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics; Vice Chancellor of Research University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Catherine A. Pilachowski
    Professor and Kirkwood Chair in Astronomy Indiana University
  • Ethan J. Schreier
    President Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) Adjunct Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy The Johns Hopkins University
  • William S. Smith
    President Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA)

VAO Board Intranet

Science Council

  • Giuseppina Fabbiano (Chair)
    Senior Astrophysicist, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysic, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
  • Crystal Brogan
    Associate Astronomer, National Radio Astronomy Observatory
  • Daniela Calzetti
    Associate Professor, Department of Astronomy, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
  • Paul Eskridge
    Associate Professor of Astronomy, Department of Physics & Astronomy, Minnesota State University
  • Eric D. Feigelson
    Professor. Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics. Pennsylvania State University
  • Zeljko Ivezic
    Professor, Department of Astronomy, University of Washington
  • Alicia Soderberg
    Assistant Professor, Harvard University
  • Travis Rector
    Associate Professor. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Alaska Anchorage

VAO Team Consultants to the Science Council

  • George Djorgovski
    Professor, Division of Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy, California Institute of Technology
  • Alyssa Goodman
    Professor, Department of Astronomy, Harvard University
  • Barry Madore
    Senior Research Associate, The Carnegie Observatories, Pasadena
  • Marc Postman
    Astronomer, Space Telescope Science Institute

VAO Science Council Intranet

Program Council

  • Bruce Berriman
    NASA/Infrared Processing and Analysis Cente (IPAC) (Chair)
  • Matthew Graham
    Caltech Center for Advanced Computational Research (CACR)
  • Thomas McGlynn
    NASA/ High Energy Astrophysical Science Archive Research (HEASARC)
  • Ani Thakar
    The Johns Hopkins University (JHU)
  • Raymond Plante
    National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA)
  • Elizabeth B. Stobie
    National Optical Astronomy Observatory
  • Doug Tody
    National Radio Astronomy Observatory
  • Arnold Rots
    Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
  • Gretchen Greene
    Space Telescope Science Institute

VAO Program Council Intranet