Astrophysical Sciences’ David Spergel Named as the Next President of the Simons Foundation

Monday, Dec 21, 2020
by Department of Astrophysical Sciences

David Spergel, Emeritus Professor of Astrophysical Sciences, has been selected as the next President of the Simons Foundation. He will assume the presidency from Marilyn Simons, the co-founder and current President of the Simons Foundation. In September 2016, Professor Spergel became the founding Director of the Center for Computational Astrophysics (CCA) at the Simons Foundation Flatiron Institute in New York. Prior to that he was Princeton University’s Department of Astrophysical Sciences’ Department Chair from 2006 until 2016 and was also the Associate Chair from 1999 though 2006.  He has served as a mentor to more than 100 undergraduate/graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, and was recipient in 2013 of the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton. 

Professor Spergel is a theoretical astrophysicist who has worked on a wide range of topics from exoplanet searches to dynamics of stellar systems to the nature of dark matter and dark energy.  He is particularly known for his many foundational contributions to the field of modern cosmology.  For the WMAP mission, Spergel led the analysis of cosmic background radiation maps that were key to establishing the current standard cosmological model. With the Atacama Cosmology Telescope, he has continued to lead teams in measuring the age, shape and properties of the Universe. He is currently co-Chair of the science team planning for NASA’s WFIRST science mission, which will make precision cosmology measurements and characterize exoplanets. David Spergel has been the recipient of numerous scientific and professional awards including: the 2018 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics, the NASA Exceptional Public Service Medal, the Heineman Prize for Astrophysics and Warner Prize of the American Astronomical Society, the Shaw Prize in Astronomy, and a Mac Arthur fellowship. He is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.  In addition, he has served on numerous boards and advisory committees for the National Academy of Sciences, NASA, and the International Astronomical Union.  

David Spergel’s appointment as President of the Simons Foundation will begin on July 1, 2021.

The full announcement can be read here