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Appointment of Dr. James S. Ulvestad as Acting Office Director for the Office of Polar Programs


Appointment of Dr. James S. Ulvestad as Acting Office Director for the Office of Polar Programs

January 25, 2023

Dr. James S. Ulvestad has been appointed Acting Office Director for the Office of Polar Programs (OPP) in the Directorate for Geosciences (GEO) effective February 2, 2023.

Dr. Ulvestad is currently a Senior Advisor for Research Security in the Office of the Director at the National Science Foundation (NSF). Before this appointment, he was the first Chief Officer for Research Facilities in the Office of the Director, a position he held from January 2018 until October 2021. Previously, Dr. Ulvestad spent seven years as Division Director of the NSF Division of Astronomical Sciences and one year as the Acting Assistant Director in charge of the NSF Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences.

Before coming to NSF, Dr. Ulvestad was an Assistant Director of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), where he led New Mexico Operations, encompassing the Very Large Array (VLA) and Very Long Baseline Array radio telescopes as well as the VLA Expansion Project. Prior to his time at NRAO, he was a Member of the Technical Staff and a Systems Engineer at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Dr. Ulvestad earned a Bachelor’s degree in astronomy from the University of California at Los Angeles and a Ph.D. degree in astronomy from the University of Maryland. He is an author or co-author of more than 80 refereed scientific papers.

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2023 budget of $9.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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