Welcome to the new NASA website. We’re working to continuously improve your web experience. If you don't find what you are looking for, give feedback.

Suggested Searches

2 min read

Nicola Fox Takes Helm as Director of NASA’s Heliophysics Division

Nicola Fox
Nicola Fox, program scientist for NASA’s Parker Solar Probe mission.
Credits: NASA

On Sept. 4, 2018, Nicola Fox began official duties as director of NASA’s Heliophysics Division, leading the agency’s efforts to study the Sun and its effects on Earth and the solar system. Heliophysics is not only vital to understanding Earth’s most important and life-sustaining star, but the study of key space phenomena and processes supports situational awareness to better protect astronauts, satellites, and robotic missions exploring the solar system and beyond.

Fox will report directly to the associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate (SMD).  In partnership with other SMD directors, Fox will assist the associate administrator in determining and presenting the Heliophysics Program to NASA senior management, the Office of Management and Budget and Congress. More specifically, she will help guide the overall direction, strategy and budget recommendations for the program.

In leading the Heliophysics Division, Fox joins Deputy Director Peg Luce, who has been in that role since August 2015 and acting director since August 2017. Luce brings 30 years of NASA experience and expertise to her work in the division.

Fox joins NASA from the Applied Physics Lab at the Johns Hopkins University in Laurel, Maryland, where she was the chief scientist for heliophysics and the project scientist for NASA’s Parker Solar Probe — humanity’s first mission to a star. Fox is a proven leader with extensive project, program and supervisory experience, having served as the deputy project scientist for the Van Allen Probes, and the operations scientist for the International Solar Terrestrial Physics program. She has authored numerous scientific articles and papers in addition to delivering science presentations worldwide. In addition to her research, she is also keenly involved with science education and outreach activities.

Fox was born in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, in England. She graduated from The Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine in London with a B.S. in physics. She received an M.S. in telematics and satellite communications from the University of Surrey. She then returned to Imperial College to complete a Ph.D. in space and atmospheric physics. She has also previously worked at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, receiving a number of agency awards for outstanding performance.

Further inquiries should be sent to:

Dwayne C. Brown (dwayne.c.brown@nasa.gov)
Senior Communications Official, Office of Communications
Science Mission Directorate
NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.