Nancy Levenson

Deputy Director
Nancy Levenson

As the deputy director of the institute since 2016, Dr. Nancy A. Levenson has actively partnered with the director to lead the institute as a whole and advance the institute’s objectives. She provides leadership and vision for all activities and champions a science-driven approach to support our missions and the communities we serve. She is also a research professor at Johns Hopkins University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Before joining the institute, Dr. Levenson was the deputy director and head of science at Gemini Observatory, where she worked to make the observatory scientifically productive for the international community. She was previously tenured at the University of Kentucky in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. She started her career as a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University and as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Levenson regularly publishes in the astronomical literature, including the Astrophysical Journal and Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, concentrating on active and star-forming galaxies and their obscuration. She has been invited to present her work around the world at academic institutions and in professional symposia. She regularly serves as a reviewer for professional journals, national scientific organizations, and other institutions. Dr. Levenson is a member of the American Astronomical Society, the IAU (International Astronomical Union), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She has served on the AAAS Section on Astronomy electorate nominating committee and as its chair. Dr. Levenson is a fellow of the AAAS.


PhD in Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley
MA in Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley
BA in Physics and Philosophy, University of Oxford
AB in Astronomy and Astrophysics, Harvard University


Science/Research Interests:

  • Obscuration of active galactic nuclei
  • Starburst/AGN connections
  • Infrared galaxies
  • Dust emission and obscuration
  • X-ray astrophysics


Research Topics: Active Galactic Nuclei, Starburst Galaxies, Galaxies, Dust, Active and star-forming galaxies, infrared observations