Firouz Naderi is an Iranian scientist and the Associate Director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) responsible for Project Formulation and Strategy.
He received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California (writing his dissertation in the area of digital image processing) and joined JPL in 1979.
His career at JPL has spanned system engineering, technology development, and program and project management for satellite communications systems, Earth remote sensing observatories, astrophysical observatories and planetary systems.
He was named head of the Mars Exploration Program at JPL in 2000 after the Program had suffered two consecutive failures. In the summer of 2000 he helped re-plan the Program as a chain of scientifically, technologically and operationally interrelated missions with a spacecraft launch to Mars every two years. He led the Program for the next five years, a span of time that included the successful landing of the Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity.
Naderi joined JPL in September 1979. His early work at JPL was on system design of large satellite-based systems for nationwide cellular phone coverage. He went to NASA Headquarters for two years in the mid-80s to serve as the program manager for the Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS), the front-runner of today’s multi-beam, space-switching commercial satellites.
Awards and honors
- Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
- 2005 recipient of Ellis Island Medal of Honor
- 2004 winner of the Liberal Prize
- NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal
- Space Technology Hall of Fame Medal and
- NASA’s highest award – the Distinguished Service Medal.