Dr. Douglas A. Simons has been appointed the next director of the Gemini Observatory effective June 1, 2006.
..."I am thrilled that Doug will continue to move Gemini forward to become the leading ground-based astronomical observatory with this appointment," said AURA President Dr. Bill Smith.
...Dr. Simons is preceded by Professor Jean-Ren¨¦ Roy who has been the acting director after Gemini's former director of almost 11 years, Dr. Matt Mountain, took the directorship at the Hubble Space Telescope Science Institute on September 1st 2005.
...Dr. Simons obtained a Ph. D. in astronomy from the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy in Honolulu in 1994.He then joined the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Corporation (CFHT) on the Big Island as resident astronomer.In 1994, he came to the Gemini Observatory where he has served as Gemini's Associate Director for Development, overseeing the observatory's world-class instrument program.Dr. Simons
played a leading role in steering the "Aspen Process" that defined the future generation of Gemini instruments
and in implementing this ambitious instrumentation program.
"It's an enormous pleasure, after participating in the construction of the Gemini
8 m telescopes, to now guide the Gemini Observatory
into its next great phase - a mission of scientific discovery.Steering the flag-ship of the fleet in ground based infrared astronomy is truly the opportunity of a lifetime," said Simons
In addition to Doug's professional background in astronomy (infrared studies of brown dwarfs and the Galactic center) and infrared instrumentation, his
young family (his wife Judy and 3 children, Kristie, Chris and Jacob), extensive fine woodworking projects and bird hunting augment his
days that typically begin well before sunrise."Doug
is strongly committed to the observatory, its multinational partnership and its user community.