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The Interim Director of STScI: Dr. Kathryn Flanagan

Dr. Kathryn Flanagan is the Interim Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI). The 500-person Institute is responsible for the science operations of Hubble Space Telescope, as well as the future mission and science operations of its successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled to launch in 2018.

Prior to assuming her current position in March 2015, Dr. Flanagan served as STScI’s Deputy Director since October 2012. This was preceded by her appointment to acting Deputy Director in January 2012.

Dr. Flanagan is also a Senior Scientist at STScI. She came to the Institute in 2007 to head the Mission Office for the James Webb Space Telescope. In that capacity, she was responsible for the development of the Science and Operations Center at STScI for this NASA mission. She earned her bachelor’s degree and PhD in physics at MIT, where she began working in the field of X-ray astronomy, with a special interest in supernova remnants and the development of new instruments for space. She became part of the science research staff at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and MIT, and has worked on flight instruments for the Einstein Observatory, the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and future missions such as the International X-ray Observatory.

She has been active in education, first as a Peace Corps volunteer teaching math and physics in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and later as Director for Education and Public Outreach for MIT’s Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research. She has participated in NASA’s advisory structure, co-chairing strategic planning documents and serving on the Astrophysics Subcommittee.

As Interim Director, Dr. Flanagan brings to the STScI management team a deep personal understanding and commitment to the role the Institute plays in supporting the science community.