Caltech Professor of Electrical Engineering and Planetary Science; Caltech Vice President; and Director of Jet Propulsion Laboratory
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, Dr. Elachi was JPL's Director for Space and Earth Science Programs at JPL since 1982, where he was responsible for the development numerous flight missions and instruments for Earth observation, planetary exploration, and astrophysics.
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 Sigma Xi William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement (2008), International von Kármán Wings Award (2007), 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), UCLA Dept. of Earth and Science Distinguished Alumni Award (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).