Known for his work in the fields of electrical engineering and planetary science, this Lebanese-born researcher became director of Southern California's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and also served as President of the California Institute of Technology.
After earning a bachelor's degree in physics from Joseph Fourier University in France, he received advanced degrees in engineering, business, and geology from the California Institute of Technology, the University of Southern California, and the University of California, Los Angeles.
He headed several NASA initiatives, including the Cassini-Huygens Titan radar project and the Shuttle Imaging Radar series.
He was born in Lebanon, and he later lived in both France and the United States.
He and fellow California Institute of Technology graduate Dan Alderson both worked on major Jet Propulsion Laboratory space projects.