ann23008 — Announcement

NOIRLab’s Dara Norman President-Elect of the American Astronomical Society

Lori Allen also elected to serve on the AAS Nominating Committee

9 February 2023

Dara Norman, NOIRLab’s Community Science and Data Center (CSDC) Deputy Director, has been elected President of the American Astronomical Society (AAS). She will serve as President-Elect for the next year and will begin her two-year term as President in June 2024. 

The entire NOIRLab community congratulates Dara on receiving this outstanding honor and call to service. The society could not have chosen a better leader. I am personally delighted that NOIRLab can make such important contributions to the AAS leadership,” said Patrick McCarthy, Director of NSF’s NOIRLab. 

It is the duty of the AAS President to preside over the Board of Trustees meetings and the annual AAS Members' Meeting, represent the AAS at official functions and before other organizations, serve when required as the official spokesperson for the AAS, and appoint members to various AAS committees. More importantly, the President sets the tone for the entire society and exemplifies leadership in astronomy across the United States.

You can read Norman’s candidate statement here

Norman’s research interests include studies of galaxy evolution, active galactic nuclei, and large-scale structures in the Universe. She is also actively engaged in STEM workforce development. 

As Deputy Director of the CSDC, Norman supports NOIRLab’s efforts to provide software systems, user services, and development initiatives to connect and support the scientific missions of the International Gemini Observatory, Kitt Peak National Observatory, Vera C. Rubin Observatory, and Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory. She is recognized for her work to promote diversity and inclusion in science through access to data. 

Advocating for equity, diversity, inclusion and access in astronomy and astrophysics has been an important part of my work and career. I am looking forward to taking on this new role within the AAS,” said Norman.

Norman will succeed current AAS President Kelsey Johnson, an astronomer with the University of Virginia, who will complete her two-year term before becoming AAS Past-President in June 2024.

NOIRLab’s Director of Mid-Scale Observatories, Lori Allen, was also elected to a three-year term as a member of the AAS Nominating Committee. Allen’s term begins immediately. 

More information

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 SLAC National 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.


Charles Blue
Public Information Officer
T: +1 202 236 6324

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