I am happy to announce that the AMS Council has appointed Dr. Stella Kafka as the next AMS Executive Director. Stella comes to AMS from the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO), a nonprofit worldwide scientific and educational organization of amateur and professional astronomers, where she is currently Executive Director.
Stella brings a wealth of managerial experience to her new role at AMS. In addition to previously serving as the director of two research and mentorship programs for undergraduates in Chile, Stella managed editorial, marketing, financial, business development, operations, and production aspects of journals at the American Institute of Physics (AIP). As a Journal Manager at AIP, Stella successfully oversaw the launch of a new journal and served as a liaison between publishing and research communities.
Stella also brings an international perspective to her work. She grew up in Greece, obtaining her B.S. degree at the University of Athens, Greece, and a master’s and Ph.D. in astronomy, with a double minor in physics and geophysical sciences, from Indiana University. There she received the Hollis and Grete Johnson Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Research. After completing her Ph.D., Stella held a series of prestigious postdoctoral positions and fellowships, first at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, where she received the National Optical Astronomy Observatory Excellence Award, then at Caltech, and finally as a NASA Astrobiology Institute Fellow at the Carnegie Institution of Washington.
It is very clear that Stella brings a unique combination of talent, skills, and scientific accomplishments to her new role as AMS Executive Director, which will begin on 3 January. Current Executive Director Keith Seitter has agreed to remain on hand in an Emeritus role for several months to help with this transition.
Please join me in welcoming Stella to the AMS community!
Dr. Mike Farrar
American Meteorological Society