By PAAIA Staff
July 26, 2011, Washington, D.C. – The Public Affairs Alliance for Iranian Americans (PAAIA) congratulates Dr. Firouz Naderi on his appointment as the new Director for Solar System Exploration at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) effective on August 15, 2011.
Dr. Naderi serves as JPL’s Associate Director for Project Formulation and Strategy. Prior to his current assignment, he led the Mars Exploration Program at JPL for five years – a period that saw the successful launch of three missions to Mars including the twin Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity.
In his new role, Dr. Naderi will oversee JPL’s robotic solar system missions, including new projects under development and such currently operating projects as the Cassini orbiter at Saturn and the Dawn spacecraft at the giant asteroid Vesta, as well as two missions about to be launched: Juno to Jupiter and GRAIL to Earth’s moon. In addition, he will be responsible for JPL’s work supporting NASA’s human spaceflight program, which is being merged into the laboratory’s Solar System Exploration Directorate.
Dr. Naderi is the recipient of a number of awards including NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal and, NASA’s highest award – the Distinguished Service Medal. He has also received the Technology Hall of Fame Medal and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. Most recently he was recognized with the 2010 William Randolph Lovelace II Award from the American Astronautical Society (AAS) for outstanding contributions to space science and technology.
Born in Shiraz, Iran, Naderi moved to the U.S. more than 40 years ago to continue his higher education. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California (USC) in electrical engineering. Naderi is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and has served as a member of the Board of Directors of PAAIA since 2008.