Dr. Eileen Friel of Arlington has accepted the appointment by Observatory Trustee, William Lowell Putnam, to be the next director of Lowell Observatory. Friel will become the 10th director of the observatory.
Friel is currently serving as the executive officer, Division of Astronomical Sciences at the National Science Foundation (NSF). Among her previous experience, she served as program director, unit coordinator for NSF; director of the Maria Mitchell Observatory; she was founder and director of the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory's Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program; and she was a NATO/NSF Fellow, a visiting astronomer at the Paris Observatory, and a National Research Council Research Associate. Friel received her Ph.D. in astronomy and astrophysics from the University of California-Santa Cruz, a Part III Math Tripos from Churchill College, Cambridge University in England, and her B.S. in physics with highest honors from William and Mary in Williamsburg.
Friel's research interest is in galactic evolution.
Friel will succeed Bob Millis who has served as the Lowell Observatory director since 1989. Millis will step down as director on June 15.
Lowell Observatory is a private, non-profit research institution founded in 1894 by Percival Lowell. Today, Lowell's 20 astronomers use ground-based telescopes around the world, telescopes in space, and NASA planetary spacecraft to conduct research in diverse areas of astronomy and planetary science.