Anthony J. Beasley has been appointed as the next Director of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), according to Ethan J. Schreier, President of Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI). Beasley will succeed Fred K.Y. Lo, who has been NRAO Director since 2002.
“Tony Beasley is widely known and highly respected in the radio astronomy community and at the National Science Foundation (NSF) for his professional experience and accomplishments. He has played key roles in the implementation of some the world’s most advanced and successful radio astronomy facilities,” Schreier said.
Beasley currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer and Project Manager of the NSF-funded National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), a continental-scale ecological observatory designed to detect ecological change and enable forecasting of its impacts.
After receiving his Bachelor’s in Physics in 1986 and his Doctorate in Astrophysics in 1991 from the University of Sydney, Beasley joined NRAO as a Postdoctoral Fellow in 1991. He was appointed as a Deputy Assistant Director in 1997, and served as Assistant Director from 1998 to 2000. In 2000, he left NRAO to become Project Manager for the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy (CARMA). In 2004, he returned to NRAO as an Assistant Director, this time as Project Manager for the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile. In 2008, Beasley joined NEON.
“I am greatly honored to have been selected as Director of NRAO, and thank AUI for the opportunity to lead the observatory,” Beasley said. “NRAO is the preeminent radio astronomy organization in the world, and the role NRAO plays in the U.S. and global scientific and technical communities remains a vital and important one. The next several years will be very exciting, with both significant challenges and major opportunities,” he added.
The NRAO, founded in 1956, is the North American partner in ALMA, and operates the Karl G.Jansky Very Large Array in New Mexico, the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia, and the continent-wide Very Long Baseline Array, a suite of cutting-edge research facilities providing unique capabilities to the scientific community.
“The AUI Board of Trustees unanimously and enthusiastically voted for Beasley’s appointment, which was approved by the NSF,” Schreier said. The NRAO is a research facility of the NSF, and is operated by AUI under a cooperative agreement. The appointment becomes effective on May 21.
“Tony will build upon the numerous achievements led by Fred Lo over the past decade. We certainly owe Fred an enormous amount of gratitude for these accomplishments,” Schreier said. “During the coming months, Tony and Fred will work closely with the NRAO management team to ensure a smooth transition,” he added.