Former Center Director, NASA
Dr. S. Pete Worden (Brig. Gen., USAF, ret.) was the NASA Ames Research Center Director. Prior to becoming Director, Dr. Worden was a Research Professor of Astronomy, Optical Sciences and Planetary Sciences at the University of Arizona where his primary research direction was the development of large space optics for national security and scientific purposes and near-earth asteroids. Additionally he worked on topics related to space exploration and solar-type activity in nearby stars. He is a recognized expert on space issues both civil and military. Dr. Worden has authored or co-authored more than 150 scientific technical papers in astrophysics, space sciences, and strategic studies. Moreover, he served as a scientific co-investigator for two NASA space science missions. In addition to his former position with the University of Arizona, Dr. Worden served as a consultant to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) on space-related issues. During the 2004 Congressional Session Dr. Worden worked as a Congressional Fellow with the Office of Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS), where he served as Senator Brownback’s chief advisor on NASA and space issues. Dr. Worden retired in 2004 after 29 years of active service in the United States Air Force. His final position was Director of Development and Transformation, Space and Missile Systems Center, Air Force Space Command, Los Angeles Air Force Base, CA. In this position he was responsible for developing new directions for Air Force Space Command programs and was instrumental in initiating a major Responsive Space Program designed to produce space systems and launchers capable of tailored military effects on timescales of hours.