Alejandra Voigt Appointed Vice President and Head of Mission for AURA Observatory in Chile
Alejandra Voigt will start as Head of Mission for AURA Observatory in Chile and AURA Vice President on 7 November
21 October 2022
Voigt comes to AURA from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), where since 2014, as ALMA’s Executive Officer, she has been part of this amazing facility’s transformational impact on global astronomy. In her role, she supported the full transition from construction to operations, building and optimizing processes and policies, including observatory signature strategies, such as diversity and inclusion, and sustainability, as well as the long-term public outreach vision.
Before joining ALMA, Voigt was the deputy head of the Legal and Legislative Division of the Secretary General of the Presidency, advising the Chilean President and his Cabinet in their legal and legislative functions, including relevant international matters. Previously, she was the Head of the Legal Research Service in the National Congress, conducting comparative legal research and analysis, forging a cohesive team, and developing exceptional expertise in support of the National Congress.
Voigt has a degree in law from Universidad Católica de Chile and a master's degree from Universidad Complutense of Madrid, Spain. In addition to her role in ALMA, she is currently a Council member of Universidad de Aysén as a Presidential appointee.
In her early career as an international lawyer, Voigt coordinated several successful multinational cooperation projects to develop social cohesion in Latin America, in collaboration with prominent multilateral funding agencies, as well as managing some of those projects end-to-end, aiming to improve and strengthen the rule of law in the most disadvantaged countries in the region.
For more than 10 years, Voigt was an International and European Law professor at Universidad Catolica’s Law School. She also fosters female leadership by mentoring, connecting, and empowering women with experience in executive positions as well as small community leaders.
“I feel privileged and honored to take on this role at such an exciting time for AURA and astronomy in my country. I look forward to working closely with the teams in Chile to enable AURA and its centers to excel in benefiting all our stakeholders. I am certain that my experience and drive will ensure that sustainable conditions exist to operate and further develop AURA's mission in Chile, including the preservation of the unique Chilean dark skies,” Voigt said.
Voigt’s previous experience in the Chilean Government, her work at ALMA, and her deep connections within Chile will all be crucial in moving AURA into a new, challenging-but-exciting era of astronomy in Chile, with both Vera C. Rubin Observatory and the future Extremely Large Telescopes coming on line in the next decade.
She will be based at the AURA office in Santiago, Chile, from 7 November 2022.
NSF’s NOIRLab(National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory), the US center for ground-based optical-infrared astronomy, operates the International Gemini Observatory(a facility of NSF, NRC–Canada, ANID–Chile, MCTIC–Brazil, MINCyT–Argentina, and KASI–Republic of Korea), Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO), Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO), the Community Science and Data Center (CSDC), and Vera C. Rubin Observatory(operated in cooperation with the Department of Energy’s SLACNational Accelerator Laboratory). It is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with NSF and is headquartered in Tucson, Arizona. The astronomical community is honored to have the opportunity to conduct astronomical research on Iolkam Du’ag (Kitt Peak) in Arizona, on Maunakea in Hawai‘i, and on Cerro Tololo and Cerro Pachón in Chile. We recognize and acknowledge the very significant cultural role and reverence that these sites have to the Tohono O'odham Nation, to the Native Hawaiian community, and to the local communities in Chile, respectively.
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