Hilton Lewis, Observatory Director
As Director, Lewis is responsible for the operation and performance of the observatory with its twin 10-meter optical/infrared telescopes, and for the development of new capabilities. Lewis works closely with the staff, partner institutions and scientists to ensure the continued success of the Keck Observatory and foster the development of its scientific capabilities and overall productivity.
Lewis was recruited in 1986 to lead the design and development of the software that controls the Keck Observatory’s twin, 10-meter telescopes. He has held many leadership roles throughout the history of the Observatory, ranging from leading software development to overseeing the full range of technical activities at the observatory.
Lewis holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Cape Town and earned his MBA from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. His professional interests include leadership and motivation of high tech teams, strategic planning, multiple-year plan design, and effective project planning and execution.
Lewis has dedicated his career to building, operating and updating the most sophisticated ground- based optical/infrared telescopes in the world, a commitment that has contributed to the unprecedented astronomical innovation and forefront science of the W. M. Keck Observatory.
Board of Directors
George R. Blumenthal, Chair
Chancellor, University of California, Santa Cruz
Tom Soifer, Vice-Chair
Harold Brown Professor of Physics, Emeritus, California Institute of Technology
Board of Directors
Kent and Joyce Kresa Leadership Chair of the Division of Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy and the Benjamin M. Rosen Professor of Physics at Caltech
Director of the University of California Observatories (UCO)
Provost and Executive Vice President, Academic Affairs, University of California
Director of the Caltech Optical Observatories, California Institute of Technology
Liaison to Board
Hashima Hasan (NASA Liaison)
Program Scientist, NASA
T.J. Keck (Keck Representative)
Keck Representative, W. M. Keck Foundation
Today Keck Observatory is supported by both public funding sources and private philanthropy. As a 501(c)3, the organization is managed by the California Association for Research in Astronomy (CARA), whose Board of Directors includes representatives from the California Institute of Technology and the University of California, with liaisons to the board from NASA and the Keck Foundation.