Appointment of ALMA Director

Appointment of ALMA Director

8 September, 2008 / Read time: 2 minutes

The ALMA Board is pleased to announce that Dr. Thijs de Graauw of the Netherlands has been appointed Director of the Atacama Large Millimeter/sub-millimeter Array (ALMA).  Dr. de Graauw's appointment follows a search by an international committee.


Dr. Thijs de Graauw is a world expert in infrared and sub-millimeter astronomy.  He has considerable experience in coordinating and leading large international scientific projects. In particular, he was the Principal Investigator of the successful Short Wavelength Spectrometer that flew on the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) and is currently the Principal Investigator of the Heterodyne Instrument for the Far-Infrared (HIFI) on the Herschel Satellite which is to be launched in 2009.

Dr. de Graauw has been serving as Interim ALMA Director since April 1st, 2008.  Before joining ALMA, he was a professor at Leiden University.  At the Netherlands Institute for Space Research (SRON), he was responsible for the infrared and sub-millimeter research program.

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of Europe, East Asia and North America in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. The ALMA Board, consisting of members representing the partners, has created the Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) in Chile. The JAO is responsible for the overall leadership and management of construction, commissioning and operations of ALMA. ALMA is funded in Europe by the European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere, in East Asia by the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan in cooperation with the Academia Sinica in Taiwan and in North America by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC). ALMA construction and operations are led on behalf of Europe by ESO, on behalf of East Asia by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) and on behalf of North America by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), which is managed by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI).