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

Board Chair

George R. Blumenthal, Chair
Chancellor, University of California, Santa Cruz

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Tom Soifer, Vice-Chair
Harold Brown Professor of Physics, Emeritus, California Institute of Technology

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Board of Directors

Fiona Harrison
Kent and Joyce Kresa Leadership Chair of the Division of Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy and the Benjamin M. Rosen Professor of Physics at Caltech

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Claire Max
Director of the University of California Observatories (UCO)

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Aimée Dorr
Provost and Executive Vice President, Academic Affairs, University of California

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Shrinivas Kulkarni
Director of the Caltech Optical Observatories, California Institute of Technology

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Liaison to Board

Hashima Hasan (NASA Liaison)
Program Scientist, NASA

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T.J. Keck (Keck Representative)
Keck Representative, W. M. Keck Foundation

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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.