Neil deGrasse Tyson
Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson is the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Dr. Tyson is the first African American to head the Planetarium, or any major scientific department at the Museum. Neil Tyson grew up in Riverdale and graduated from the Bronx High School of Science. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia, and did a three-year post-doc at Princeton where he is still on the faculty. He is a teacher in astronomy and astrophysics at Princeton, the author of ten books, and a frequent guest on late night TV. It was announced on August 5, 2011, that Tyson will be hosting a new sequel to Carl Sagan's Cosmos: A Personal Voyage television series.
Dr. Tyson is also very vocal about science education and the need for students to seriously consider STEM field professions (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) so that America can move into the future prepared for the challenges and possibilities. In 2001, US President George W. Bush appointed Tyson to serve on the Commission on the Future of the United States Aerospace Industry and in 2004 to serve on the President's Commission on Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy, the latter better known as the "Moon, Mars, and Beyond" commission. Soon afterward he was awarded the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, the highest civilian honor bestowed by NASA. Photo Credit: Sandra Kitt