News by Date
News by Category
Solar System
White Dwarfs
Neutron Stars
Black Holes
Milky Way Galaxy
Normal Galaxies
Galaxy Clusters
Cosmology/Deep Field
Press Resources
Status Reports
Press Advisories
Image Releases
Release Guidelines
Image Use Policy
Web Shortcuts
Chandra Blog
RSS Feed
Email Newsletter
News & Noteworthy
Image Use Policy
Questions & Answers
Glossary of Terms
Download Guide
Get Adobe Reader
Related Links

Chandra @ NASA
Visit the Chandra pages at the NASA portal (opens in new window)
Image Use
Image Use Policy & Request Form
Guidelines for utilizing images, applets, movies, and animations featured in this Web Site.
Getting Hard Copies of Images
Ways to obtain photos, slides, etc of Chandra images.
Dr. Belinda Wilkes Chosen to Lead the Chandra X-ray Center

For Release: March 19, 2014


Credit: CfA

Professor Charles Alcock, Director of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, announces that after an extensive search, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), in consultation with NASA, has selected Dr. Belinda Wilkes as the next director of the Chandra X-ray Center (CXC). She will assume the directorship on April 20, 2014.

Based in Cambridge, MA, the CXC is responsible for the operations of the Chandra X-ray Observatory and for maximizing the scientific return from Chandra, one of NASA Astrophysics' four Great Observatories. "Chandra is our principal responsibility to the world of astrophysics," said Professor Alcock, "and we are very pleased that such a highly qualified candidate has accepted this position." Dr. Wilkes will succeed Dr. Harvey Tananbaum who has led the CXC since its inception in 1991.

Illustration: MSFC

Dr. Wilkes has served as the CXC Assistant Director for the past 12 years. In this capacity, she has demonstrated the expertise necessary to lead the CXC and to continue and extend the success of the Chandra mission. She has worked effectively with members of the CXC staff and has developed strong working relationships with NASA Headquarters and the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), which manages Chandra.

"Dr. Wilkes will be an outstanding Director and will continue the tradition of advancing astronomy and astrophysics via Chandra's unique and vital contributions to these fields," said MSFC's Dr. Martin Weisskopf, Chandra's Project Scientist.

Dr. Wilkes is well known to Chandra's international user community through her lead role in organizing and managing the annual Peer Review for Chandra observing, archival and theoretical research proposals. Her extensive knowledge of the needs of Chandra users will enable Chandra to continue its excellent service to the astronomical community. "Belinda Wilkes is a first-rate scientist who really connects with the ever-expanding community of Chandra Users," said Professor Jon Miller of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, who serves as Chair of the Chandra User Committee. "It is terrific that she will be guiding Chandra into the future."

Prior to her current position, Dr. Wilkes served as Deputy Group Leader of the Chandra User Support Group. From 1990 to 1995 she was Lead Data Verification Scientist for the ROSAT Science Data Center at SAO, and before that she supported validation and verification of the Einstein X-ray Observatory data reprocessing. She is a distinguished and highly cited research scientist with 145 papers in refereed journals. "I have known and worked with Belinda Wilkes for a number of years," said Dr. Jeffrey Hayes, Chandra Program Executive in NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. "I am so very pleased to know that the Chandra mission will be continuing under such capable hands."

Dr. Wilkes's primary science interests are X-ray and multi-wavelength studies of quasars along with lower luminosity active galactic nuclei. She has successfully competed for observing time on three of NASA’s Great Observatories - Chandra, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the Spitzer Space Telescope - as well as many other space-based and ground-based facilities.

People Who Read This Also Read...

Could not Run Add On: error occured.