The 23rd Annual
INTERNATIONAL VON KÁRMÁN WINGS AWARD
Dr. Charles Elachi
Director, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Vice President, California Institute of Technology
The Athenaeum, California Institute of Technology
Charles Elachi was appointed Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in May 2001. Dr. Elachi received his B.Sc. ('68) in physics from University of Grenoble, France; the Dipl. Ing. ('68) in engineering from the Polytechnic Institute, Grenoble; and both a M.Sc. ('69) and Ph.D. ('71) degree in electrical sciences from the California Institute of Technology. He also has a M.Sc. (‘83) degree in geology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and an MBA ('79) from the University of Southern California.
Dr. Elachi joined JPL in 1970. Prior to becoming Director, he was JPL's Director for Space and Earth Science Programs (since 1982), where he was responsible for the development of numerous flight missions and instruments for Earth observation, planetary exploration, and astrophysics. As Director of JPL he is responsible for the planetary and space exploration work of five thousand employees and a budget of $1.4 billion.
In 1989, Dr. Elachi was elected to the National Academy of Engineering and has served on a number of academy committees. Dr. Elachi has received numerous awards, including the America's Best Leaders by U.S. News & World Report and the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government (2006), the Royal Society of London Massey Award (2006), the Lebanon Order of Cedars (2006), the Philip Habib Award for Distinguished Public Service (2006), the American Astronautical Society Space Flight Award (2005), the Bob Hope Distinguished Citizen Award (2005), NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal (2004, 2002, 1994), Takeda Award (2002), Wernher von Braun (2002), Dryden Award (2000), NASA Distinguished Service Medal (1999), the COSPAR Nordberg Medal (1996), the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal (1994), the IEEE Medal of Engineering Excellence (1992), the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Distinguished Achievement Award (1987), and the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal (1982).