Holly Gilbert chosen to lead NCAR’s High Altitude Observatory

Gilbert joins HAO from NASA, where she directs the Heliophysics Science Division

Jul 30, 2020 - by Staff

Holly Gilbert
Holly Gilbert. Image: NASA

Astrophysicist Holly Gilbert has been selected to lead the High Altitude Observatory (HAO) at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Gilbert, who currently serves as director for the Heliophysics Science Division at the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, will join NCAR October 5. 

“Holly’s vision for HAO, her scientific background, proven leadership experience, demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and energy all make me very excited to have her on our team,” said NCAR Director Everette Joseph. “It is a testament to HAO’s excellence and international leadership that we are able to attract a leader of Holly’s caliber.”   

Gilbert first came to HAO as a student assistant in 1996. Over the next decade, she stayed to work first as an associate scientist and then as a visiting scientist. Gilbert began working in 2008 as associate director for science in the Heliophysics Science Division. Throughout her time there, Gilbert rose through leadership positions, taking on the role of division director in 2017. 

Gilbert earned her Ph.D. in theoretical astrophysics from the University of Oslo, Norway, after obtaining a B.A. in physics from the University of Colorado, Boulder. 

As HAO Director, Gilbert will be responsible for advancing the observatory’s mission to understand and quantify the impact of solar variability on Earth’s atmosphere across temporal scales. She will also work closely with the NCAR Directorate to align her strategic direction for HAO with the new NCAR Strategic Plan.

"I’m thrilled to return to HAO where I began my career, and to Colorado where I began my life!," said Gilbert, who was born in the state. "I’m also honored for the opportunity to help guide HAO and its amazing science through exciting and challenging times."

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