Dr. Wesley T. Huntress, Jr., Director of the Geophysical Laboratory of the Carnegie Institute of Washington, has been named Vice President of The Planetary Society, replacing Laurel Wilkening who is retiring from the Society's Board of Directors after six years of service, nearly four years in the capacity of Vice President.
Dr. Huntress was the Associate Administrator for Space Sciences at NASA from 1993 until 1998. There he was a key architect of NASA's Mars Exploration and Origins programs and was responsible for NASA's programs in astrophysics, planetary exploration, and space physics. Huntress enjoyed a 20-year career at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory prior to coming to NASA headquarters.
"The Planetary Society is fortunate indeed to have Wes Huntress serve as Vice President of our organization, bringing with him a wealth of experience in planetary exploration that will help guide the Society's programs in the 21st century," said Bruce Murray, President of The Planetary Society. "At the same time, we are sorry to lose Laurel Wilkening from our Board, but are very grateful for her invaluable assistance over the past six years."
The Planetary Society has on its Board of Directors and Advisory Council many well-known figures from the worlds of space exploration, science, science fiction and entertainment, including director Steven Spielberg; Bill Nye the Science Guy; astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Kathy Sullivan and Franklin Chang-Diaz; author Ray Bradbury; futurist Arthur C. Clarke; writer Ann Druyan; biologist Stephen Jay Gould; Hayden Planetarium Director Neil De Grasse Tyson; and planetary scientist and former director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Bruce Murray, who is the President of the Planetary Society.