Curriculum Vitae

Michigan State University
Physics & Astronomy Dept.
East Lansing, MI 48824-2320
517-884-5618 (TEL), 517-432-8802 (FAX)
donahue AT (EMAIL)


B. S. in Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, June 1985
Ph. D. in Astrophysics, University of Colorado, December 1990


“Photoionization of Intergalactic Gas and Cooling Flows in Clusters of Galaxies,” , directed by J. Michael Shull and John T. Stocke. University of Colorado Boulder. 1993 PASP Robert J.Trumpler Award.


University Distinguished Professor, Michigan State University, Physics & Astronomy Department, June 2019-present.
Full Professor, MSU  Aug 2008–June 2019.
Associate Professor, MSU Aug 2003–Aug 2008. Tenured Aug 2006.

President of the American Astronomical Society (2018-2020). President-Elect (2017-2018). Past President (2020-2021). Chair AAS Nominating Committee (2020-2021).

Textbook Author, The Cosmic Perspective, The Essential Cosmic Perspective, and the Fundamental Cosmic Perspective, Pearson Publishing, with Jeffrey Bennett, Nick Schneider, and Mark Voit. 1999 -- present.

Archive Branch Chief Space Telescope Science Institute, Mar 2003–Aug 2003; Jan-June 2001.
Associate Astronomer Space Telescope Science Institute, Sept. 2000–Aug 2003. Archive Scientist and JWST scientist.
Assistant Astronomer Space Telescope Science Institute, Oct. 1995 –Sept 2000. Archive Scientist.

Institute Postdoc Space Telescope Science Institute, Sept. 1993 –Sept 1995.
Carnegie Fellow Observatories of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, (Pasadena, CA), Sept. 1990–Aug. 1993.

Summer Lecturer UCLA, June–July 1992. Introductory undergraduate astronomy course.


2018 College of Natural Science Ronald W. Wilson Endowed Teaching Award for teaching Integrative Studies.
2016 American Physics Society Fellow 
2014 Michigan State University Beal Outstanding Faculty Award.
2013 College of Natural Sciences Distinguished Faculty Award.
2012 American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow
2008 College of Natural Science Ronald W. Wilson Endowed Teaching Award for teaching Integrative Studies.
2006 College of Natural Science Teacher-Scholar Award for contributions to research and teaching.
2005 Physics and Astronomy Department Thomas H. Osgood Award, for faculty excellence in teaching.
1993 Astronomical Society of the Pacific Trumpler Award, for North American PhD thesis in astronomy.
1994, 1992. Annie Jump Cannon Special Commendations.
1993 STScI Postdoctoral Fellowship
1990 Carnegie Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
1990 Amelia Earhart Fellowship, Zonta Foundation.
1989 University of Colorado Boettcher Fellowship.
1986-1989 NASA Graduate Student Researchers Fellowship.
1985-1989 University of Colorado Graduate Student Fellowship.


Over 2.5 million USD at Michigan State University as PI or co-investigator.

(current committees are underlined; broadly national-level advisory 
committees are highlighted in bold, to distinguish from committee advisory to a single organization.)

AURA Board Vice Chair (Elected 2021-2023).

AAS President (June 2018-June 2020). National general election from the American Astronomical Society  membership. President-elect term June 2017-June 2018. Past-president term June 2020-June 2021. Chair of AAS Nominating Committee (Feb 2020-Feb 2022).

Carnegie Foundation Scientific Advisory Committee (2019-present). Member.

Enduring Foundations Astro2020 panel (2019-2020). Reviewed and recommended infrastructure for Astro2020 and prepared a report chapter.

NASA Senior Review 2018 Member (as post-chair). Reviewed all extended NASA missions except for HST and Chandra; Member of combined review (new structure).

AURA Observatory Council. Member. August 2016 - 2018. 

NASA Senior Review 2016 Chair. Reviewed all extended NASA missions except for HST and Chandra.

AAS eBooks Editorial Board (2016-2018.)

X-ray Surveyor (Lynx) Science and Technology Definition Team (2015-2020).

Athena Study Science Team, Astrophysics of Galaxy Clusters, 2015-present, NASA-nominated member.

Committee of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 2012-2019, National Academy / NRC oversight committee; oversees NASA, NSF and DOE astrophysics.

Space Telescope Institute Visiting Committee (IVC), 2015, 2013.

WFIRST Wide Field InfraRed Space Telescope Science Definition Teams, Jan 2011- Aug 2015

IAU Office of Astronomical Development Steering Committee, Jan 2010-Aug 2015. Included recruitment of a director for astronomical development, based in South Africa and organization of a topic meeting at the 2012 Beijing IAU meeting.

Giant Magellan Telescope Science Working Group, external member (2008- 2015)

American Association for the Advancement of Science Council, 2012-2014, elected astrophysics/astronomy at-large representative.

Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) Telescope Science Working Group, 2010-present, MSU representative.

NASA Senior Review 2012, March 2012, reviewed all NASA missions for extended phase 2012-2014, including HST and Chandra.

National Academy of Sciences / National Research Council Review: 2010 astronomy decadal prioritization panel Electromagnetic Observations from Space (2009-2010).

AAS Chambliss Book Award Committee 2010-2011, selected upper level astronomy textbooks for AAS Chambliss Award.

Space Telescope Science Institute Interim Visiting Committee, May 2011, May 2013

Multimission Archive at Space Telescope (MAST) Users Committee, 2011, 2012 (chair)

National Academy of Sciences / National Research Council Review committee (2006- 2007) requested by Congress, convened by NASA to review NASA Astrophysics. Produced NAS committee report January 2007. ( id=11828)

Irish National Science Foundation Review: Dublin, Ireland, October 2007.

Science Organizing Committee: Sesto, Italy, July 2007. Tracing Cosmic Evolution with Clusters of Galaxies: Six Years Later.

AAS Councilor (2006-2008). National general election from the AAS membership. Related
AAS work: Appointments Committee, Committee on Astronomy in Public Policy (CAPP), IAU US National Committee Category II member, Annie Jump Cannon Award Committee (chair 2007).

Science Organizing Committee: Heating and Cooling in Clusters of Galaxies (Munich, 2006) Clusters of Galaxies.

Spitzer Science Center Oversight Committee (Nov. 2005-2007).

National Virtual Observatory Science Steering Committee (2004-2008).

Joint Dark EnergyMission Science Definition Team (2004-2006).

Newton X-ray Multi Mirror Telescope Users Group (2003-2009).

Science Organizing Committee: COSPAR (Paris, 2004) Two days on clusters of galaxies.

Science Organizing Committee: University of Virginia (May, 2003). Cooling Flow cluster meeting

AXAF/Chandra Users Committee (1998-2001)

High Energy Archive Users Group (1996-1999): NASA advisory committee for the High Energy Archive at NASA Goddard.

ADF/ADC Scientific Steering Committee (1997-2002): NASA advisory group for the Astronomical Data Facility at NASA Goddard. Chairperson (2001-2002).

National Virtual Observatory Working Group, 2000-2002.

Astronomical Data Center Coordinating Council, as one of several STScI representatives until 2002.

Astrophysics Subcommittee (1991-1995): I served for 4 years on the NASA Astrophysics Subcommittee, an advisory working group for Dr. Dan Weedman, director of the NASA Astrophysics Division.

(current and/or upcoming review assignments are embargoed); these efforts typically involve
 reading 70-100+ proposals and ranking them in advance of a several day meeting

Chandra Proposal Review , NASA, Boston, July 2016

Chandra Proposal Review 2016, merger panel pundit, 2012, panel chair, NASA, Boston, July 2012. [member in 2000 and 2002]

Suzaku Proposal Review 2015, member and 2011, panel chair NASA.

XMM-Newton Proposal Review 2013 and 2011, panel chair both times, ESA/NASA.

Hubble Space Telescope Proposal Review 2010 (panel chair); 2008 (panel member), Baltimore.

National Optical Astronomy Observatory Proposal Review (2004-2006, twice a year ), Tucson.

Spitzer Space Telescope Proposal Review (2004) panel chair. Pasadena.

© Megan Donahue 2021