Dr. James L. Green

NASA: Director, Planetary Science

Dr. James (Jim) Green is NASA’s Chief Scientist. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Iowa in 1979. He worked at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) from 1980 to 1985 in the Solar System Division. In addition, he was also a safety diver in the Neutral Buoyancy Simulator supporting NASA’s manned spaceflight program making over 150 dives. In 1985, Jim transferred to the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and was the deputy Project Scientist on the Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE) mission and the Global Geospace Science Missions WIND and POLAR.

From 2006 to 2018 Jim was the Director of the Planetary Science Division (PSD) at NASA Headquarters. Under his leadership several missions have been successfully executed, including the New Horizons spacecraft flyby of Pluto, the MESSENGER spacecraft to Mercury, the Juno spacecraft to Jupiter, the Grail A and B spacecraft to the Moon, the Dawn spacecraft to Vesta and Ceres, and the landing of the Curiosity rover on Mars just to name a few.

Over his career, Jim has received numerous awards, including the Arthur S. Flemming award for outstanding individual performance in the federal government, and Japan’s Kotani Prize in recognition of his international science data management activities. He has written over 115 scientific articles in refereed journals about heliophysics and planetary science and over 50 technical articles on data systems and networks. In 2015 Jim was a part of the NASA involvement with the film “The Martian.”