ALMA Board appoints new Director

After a competitive selection process that started in January 2017, the ALMA Board has appointed Dr. Sean Dougherty to lead the Observatory as the new ALMA Director for 5 years, starting by the end of the first quarter of 2018.

Sean is currently the Director of the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory, Canada’s national radio astronomy facility, run by NRC Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics. He has served as a member of the ALMA Board representing North America for 4 years and was the chair of the ALMA Budget Committee for the last 2 years.

Dr. Sean Dougherty received his PhD in Astrophysics from University of Calgary, Canada, in 1993 following his Bachelor degree in Mathematics and Physics from University of Nottingham, England. He has over 20 years of science and engineering management experience in radio astrophysics, from management and representation of Canada’s contributions to international radio astronomy facilities and R&D projects, to leadership of major science and engineering activities at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO). He led the design and construction of the WIDAR correlator for the JVLA, and is currently leading the international consortium designing the correlator-beam former for the SKA.
The Board extends its appreciation to Dr. Stuartt Corder, who has served and will continue to serve as the ALMA acting Director during the succession process. The details of the transition are yet to be finalized, but we are confident that there will be a smooth handover of the the organization’s management from Stuartt to Sean in 2018. The ALMA Board believes that our past and future success has been and will be the result of the leadership and hard work of many very gifted, talented and dedicated individuals and asks the ALMA Staff and management to welcome and support Dr. Dougherty in this new role.”

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