Board of Directors

Our volunteer Board of Directors is responsible for governing and setting The Planetary Society's policies and future directions. They are all leaders, chosen for their passion about and knowledge of space exploration.

The Society presently has 11 board members (more or fewer are permitted by charter) elected yearly by their peers. The Board normally meets twice per year. It has a Chairman, President, and Vice President and an Executive Committee.

The Executive Committee consists of the four officers: Jim Bell, Heidi Hammel, Lon Levin, and Wally Hooser as well as Board Chair, Dan Geraci, and CEO, Bill Nye.

Nominations are sought and considered periodically from a variety of sources, including from members of the Board and Advisory Council, Society Members, staff, and experts in the space community.

Jim Bell

Jim Bell joined The Planetary Society's Board of Directors in 2005 and is a planetary scientist, educator, author, and public speaker.

Heidi Hammel

Heidi B. Hammel joined The Planetary Society's Board of Directors in 2005 and is an award-winning astronomer who studies the outer planets and their satellites.

Wally Hooser

Wally Hooser joined the Board of Directors in 2012. In addition to being associate professor of radiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, he is a lifelong space science and exploration enthusiast and an investment strategist.

Lon C. Levin

Lon Levin is an executive and entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience in new media, telecommunications, and aerospace industries.

Daniel T. Geraci

Dan Geraci joined the Planetary Society's Board of Directors in 2003 and has over 35 years experience as a senior executive in the investment and asset management industries.

Bethany Ehlmann

Bethany Ehlmann joined The Planetary Society’s Board of Directors in 2018. She is a professor of planetary science at Caltech and research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

John M. Logsdon

John Logsdon was the founder and long-time Director of George Washington University’s Space Policy Institute. His research interests focus on the policy and historical aspects of U.S. and international space activities.

Robert Picardo

Robert Picardo was a member of the Advisory Council since 1999 and joined the Board of Directors in 2015. He is an actor and known for his roles in movies and television, including the Doctor on Star Trek: Voyager.

Britney Schmidt

Britney Schmidt joined The Planetary Society’s Board of Directors in 2016. Her areas of expertise in planetary research include planetary ices and the early solar system.

Bijal (Bee) Thakore

Bijal Thakore is an award-winning engineer and Regional Coordinator for youth space activities in the Asia Pacific region for the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) in support of the United Nations Programme on space applications.

Fillmore Wood

Fill Wood joined the Board of Directors in 2013 to gain a more active role and more input regarding NASA's space programs.