Keynote Speakers


20120308_1PA3871Jack Kaye currently serves as Associate Director for Research of the Earth Science Division (ESD) within NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD).  He has been a member of the Senior Executive Service since August, 1999, managing NASA’s Earth Science Research Program.  Earlier positions in his more than 31-year career at NASA include being a Space Scientist at the Goddard Space Flight Center and Manager of the Atmospheric Chemistry Modeling and Analysis Program at NASA HQ.  In addition, he has held temporary acting positions as Deputy Director of ESD and Deputy Chief Scientist for Earth Science within SMD.  His academic training is in chemistry (B.S. Adelphi University, 1976; Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, 1982). He also held a post-doctoral research associateship at the US Naval Research Laboratory.   As Associate Director for Research, Dr. Kaye is responsible for the research and data analysis programs for Earth System Science, covering the broad spectrum of scientific disciplines that constitute it.

He represents NASA in many interagency and international activities and has been an active participant in the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) in which he has served for several years as NASA principal and Vice Chair of the Subcommittee on Global Change Research (from Jan., 2009 through May, 2010 he served as the Acting Chair for these activities). He also serves as NASA’s representative to the Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology.  He previously completed a six-year term as a member of the Steering Committee for the Global Climate Observing System and currently serves an ex officio member of the National Research Council’s Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability and the Chemical Sciences Roundtable.  He has received numerous NASA awards (most recently, the Outstanding Leadership Medal in 2009), as well as been recognized as a Meritorious Executive in the Senior Executive Service in 2004 and 2010, and named as a Fellow by the American Meteorological Society in 2010 and the American Association of the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2014. He was elected to serve as co-secretary of the Atmospheric Sciences Section of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) for 1998-2000 and earlier served on the AGU Publications Committee.  He currently serves as the Chair-Elect of the Atmospheric and Hydrospheric Sciences Section of the American Association for the AAAS. The AGU has recognized him on two occasions with a Citation for Excellence in Refereeing.  Since 2014 he has been the chair of the World Meteorological Organization’s Expert Team on Satellite Systems.  He has published more than 50 refereed papers, contributed to numerous reports, books, and encyclopedias, and edited the book Isotope Effects in Gas-Phase Chemistry for the American Chemical Society. In addition, he has attended the Leadership for Democratic Society program at the Federal Executive Institute and the Harvard Senior Managers in Government Program a the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.


KomarGeorge J. Komar has over 38 years experience in engineering, program, project and operational management.  Presently he serves as the Associate Director in the Earth Science Division and Program Manager for the Earth Science Technology Office (ESTO) for NASA.  In this capacity he is responsible for developing, integrating and managing all the advanced technology developments that will enable future Earth Science capabilities.

He previously served as the Deputy Associate Administrator for Technology for the NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD), where he was responsible for planning, advocating, and optimizing an integrated advanced technology program.  He was the Program Manager for the Landsat 7 Program and the TOPEX/Poseidon Program. George also managed the integration of the NASA Space Station Ground System Program for Space Station Freedom.

Prior to coming to NASA, George spent 21 years in the Air Force. He flew numerous flight hours in various USAF aircraft and coordinated all Air Force headquarters activities for strategic airlift weapons system acquisition programs.

George received numerous awards and honors, including the NASA Medal for Exceptional Achievement for his innovative leadership and vision in creation of the NASA Earth Science technology program, and in June of 2010 the NASA Administrator presented him with the NASA Exceptional Leadership Medal, recognizing his success in developing new technical capabilities for the Earth science community.