Press Release

Kathryn Flanagan Appointed Deputy Director of STScI

By SpaceRef Editor
October 24, 2012
Filed under , ,

Dr. Kathryn Flanagan has been appointed the Deputy Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Md. The Institute is the science operations center for the Hubble Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled to launch in 2018.

Dr. Flanagan had been the Institute’s acting Deputy Director since January 2012.

“Kathy lives and breathes space science, and has enormous experience working with NASA and the Science Mission Directorate,” said Institute Director Dr. Matt Mountain. “Importantly, Kathy brings to the STScI management team a deep personal understanding and commitment to the role the Institute plays in supporting the science community.”

Dr. Flanagan came to the Institute in 2007 to lead the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Mission, where she was responsible for the development and operations of the JWST Science and Operations Center at the Institute.

“While at the Institute, Kathy led the JWST Mission Office through some very turbulent times, and as Acting Deputy Director advocated establishing collaborative partnerships, focused especially on other Great Observatory institutions,” Dr. Mountain said.

Dr. Flanagan is looking forward to tackling the challenges of the deputy director. “I am excited and privileged to be appointed Deputy Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute. The chance to serve the astronomical community as custodian for the Hubble Space Telescope today, and the James Webb Telescope Space Telescope in the future, is an exciting challenge. Working with the teams here at the Institute and my previous experience working on the Chandra X-ray Observatory, another one of NASA’s Great Observatories, have instilled in me a deep appreciation for the efforts of so many people in building and operating these treasured assets, and the desire to assure their continued extraordinary productivity for as long as possible. NASA’s Great Observatories are cultural icons that have changed our views about our place in the universe. It is a rare opportunity to contribute to this endeavor and I am thrilled to be able to do it as Deputy Director,” Dr. Flanagan said.

Previously, Dr. Flanagan was a Principal Research Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research in Cambridge, Mass.

Dr. Flanagan has extensive experience in space mission development and instrument engineering. She has worked on three NASA flight instruments, and was responsible for the ground calibration of the High Energy Transmission Gratings, one of the instruments onboard the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Dr. Flanagan’s community service activities include being a board member for the Maryland Science, Education and Exploration Center, past coalition board member for Project Astro, Boston, and member of the Math and Science Advisory Council for the Massachusetts Department of Education from 2002 to 2004.

Dr. Flanagan has worked closely with NASA Headquarters and was a member of the NASA Advisory Council Astrophysics Subcommittee from 2006 to 2010. She also participated in the National Academy of Sciences Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey, Astro2010. Dr. Flanagan also co-chaired two NASA strategic planning documents, the 2005 NASA Roadmap for Universe Exploration and the 2006 NASA Astrophysics Division Roadmap, and served on JWST Science Assessment Team that reviewed and prioritized Webb’s science capabilities in 2005.

“I am greatly looking forward to working with Kathy in her new role as we continue to push the scientific boundaries with the Hubble telescope, and prepare for Hubble 2.0, the James Webb Space Telescope,” Dr. Mountain said.


Ray Villard / Donna Weaver
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md.
+1 410-338-4514 / +1 410-338-4493 /

Dr. Flanagan’s photo and additional information:

The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Md., is operated for NASA by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., (AURA) in Washington, D.C.

SpaceRef staff editor.