Joe visiting the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (, at 16,700 feet elevation.
Program Director, National Science Foundation • PLC 1984

Degree(s): BA: Physics; M.Phil, M.Sc., Ph.D.: Astrophysics

Professional background, interests and expertise: Joe Pesce is an astrophysicist with 30 years of experience.  His primary area of interest is in the external environments of the galaxies hosting supermassive black holes (to understand black hole formation and fueling).  He has been involved in observations at all wavebands, with ground- and space-based telescopes, and has managed large research groups.
Dr. Pesce is currently a Program Director at the National Science Foundation, Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences, Division of Astronomical Sciences; a Part-time Professor at George Mason University; and a Visiting Professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder.  He founded and served as CEO, of a firm specializing in science and technology consulting and training, and critical thinking and problem-solving.  He is a thought leader in critical & creative thinking and analytic methodology education, and an expert on STEM issues, interdisciplinary research, leadership education, science/space policy, and space programs.
An important aspect of Dr. Pesce’s work involves public outreach, as an ambassador for science in general, and astrophysics specifically.  Among other activities, he has served as scientific advisor to several science fiction series (television and online) and science fiction authors, and made numerous television and podcast appearances, and is writing STEM-based books for children and young adults.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and the Cambridge Philosophical Society; serves on the Board of Advisors of The Presidents Leadership Class at the University of Colorado, Boulder; is a member of Peterhouse, Cambridge; the American Astronomical Society; the American Association for the Advancement of Science; Sigma Pi Sigma; the American Institute of Physics; and the Cosmos Club (Washington DC).  He was a recipient of the prestigious Isaac Newton Studentship from Cambridge University; a Presidents Leadership Scholar at the University of Colorado, Boulder; and served on the Board of Directors of the Animal Behavior Management Alliance (ABMA).

Dr. Pesce received a B.A. degree (cum laude and with Honors) in Physics from the University of Colorado in Boulder, and M.Sc., M.Phil., and Ph.D. degrees from Cambridge University (Peterhouse) and the International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste, Italy.

Dr. Pesce's other interests include interspecies communication, non-human intelligence, psychology, Star Trek, and all things British!

(The image above is Joe visiting the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (, at 16,700 feet elevation.)

Hours available for mentoring per month: 4-5 hours, or as required

Best professional advice: Be flexible; be open to opportunities (and take them); don't think for other people; make mistakes.