From: Lebanese American University
Posted: Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Lebanese American University (LAU) will welcome Dr. Charles Elachi, director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), as the new chairman of its Board of Trustees later this year. A valued member of LAU's Board of Trustees for several years, Dr. Elachi will succeed Dr. George Faris, who has served meticulously as the chairman since 2006.
Dr. Elachi comes to LAU with a distinguished career and vast leadership qualifications to complement the Board of Trustees. Renowned for his ground-breaking work with NASA, he also serves as the Vice President of the California Institute of Technology and is a professor of electrical engineering and planetary science. He is author of more than 230 publications in the fields of active microwave remote sensing and electromagnetic theory, and holds several patents in those fields. In 2006, he was honored as one of "America's Best Leaders" by U.S. News & World Report and in 1989, asteroid 1982 SU was renamed 4116 Elachi in recognition of his contribution to space exploration.
As JPL's Director for Space and Earth Science Programs for many years, he was responsible for the development of flight missions and instruments for Earth observation, planetary exploration and astrophysics. Dr. Elachi has chaired a number of strategic planning committees for NASA and has lectured in more than 20 countries about space exploration and Earth observation. As a trailblazer in his field, Dr. Elachi has received national and international awards for his work of more than thirty years with JPL, particularly in developing spaceborne imaging radar. Dr. Elachi is excited to use his knowledge and expertise to help the university, saying, "LAU brings the excellence of the American educational system to nurture the tremendous talent of the young men and women in Lebanon and the Middle East, and prepare them to be the leaders of the future in a wide range of disciplines."
At the age of 16, Elachi received distinction as Lebanon's top science student. This in part earned him the opportunity to attend his university of choice, the University of Grenoble, France, where he received a bachelor's degree in physics in 1968. He went on to pursue an engineering degree from the Polytechnic Institute, Grenoble that same year. He then earned his master's degree in 1969 and a doctorate in electrical sciences at the California Institute of Technology in 1971. A tireless scholar, Dr. Elachi also received a master of business administration in 1978 and master of science degree in geology in 1983 from the University of Southern California and UCLA, respectively.
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