University of Hawaii names Institute for Astronomy director

University of Hawaii names Institute for Astronomy director
Doug Simons (Source: Hawaii News Now/file)

HONOLULU (AP) — The University of Hawaii has appointed the next director for its Institute for Astronomy.

Doug Simons, the executive director of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope on Mauna Kea, will start his new job on Sept. 1, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Monday.

Simons will become the Institute for Astronomy’s first permanent director since 2017, when Gunther Hasinger left to become the director of science at the European Space Agency, Europe’s equivalent to NASA.

The University of Hawaii’s research institute, known as IfA, is one of the nation’s largest university astronomy programs and has observatories on Mauna Kea and Haleakala.

It is among the top three programs at the university in the amount of research dollars generated, the newspaper reported.

Simons earned his Ph.D. from the Institute for Astronomy in 1990 and has worked in Hawaii since he graduated.

“Doug Simons is the leader IfA needs as Hawaii navigates through a pivotal period for the future of astronomy,” University of Hawaii President David Lassner said in a statement. “Doug is highly accomplished and respected as a leader in the astronomy community and he has proven his commitment to honest and consistent community and educational outreach.”

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