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Past ASP Board Presidents and Executive Directors

[compiled by Andrew Fraknoi, Jack Flynn, and Al Stern]

The Society was founded in 1889, by the first Director of the Lick Observatory, Edward Holden, (with the assistance of Charles Burckhalter, the Director of the Chabot Observatory). The founding members and officers were all from the San Francisco Bay Area, but the Society soon grew into a national and international organization. The first President from outside the Bay Area was elected in 1927, the first one from outside the U.S. in 1956. Some of the most respected astronomers in the world have served as Presidents of the ASP.

Presidents of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific

1889 – 1891: Edward Holden (Lick Observatory; Founder)
1892: William Pearson (San Francisco attorney; drew up Society’s articles of incorporation)
1893: John Schaeberle (Lick Observatory)
1894: Eusebius Molera (San Francisco civil engineer; also served as first ASP treasurer)
1895: William Campbell (Lick Observatory)
1896: Charles Burckhalter (Chabot Observatory; Co-founder)
1897: William Hussey (Lick Observatory) and William Alvord (San Francisco bank president)
1898: Robert Aitken (Lick Observatory)
1899: George Pardee (eye doctor and Governor of California)
1900: James Keeler (Lick Observatory)
1901: John Dolbeer (San Francisco lumber businessman)
1902: Charles Perrine (Lick Observatory)
1903: Otto von Geldern (San Francisco)
1904: George Edwards (University of California, Berkeley)
1905: Sidney Townley (Latitude Observatory, Ukiah)
1906: Armin Leuschner (U. of California, Berkeley)
1907: Charles Cushing (San Francisco attorney)
1908: Charles Burckhalter (Chabot Observatory, 2nd term)
1909: W. W. Campbell (Lick Observatory)
1910: Fremont Morse (U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey)
1911: John Galloway (Berkeley)
1912: Heber Curtis (Lick Observatory)
1913: Alex McAdie (U.S. Weather Bureau)
1914: Russell Crawford (U. of California, Berkeley)
1915: Robert Aitken (Lick Observatory)
1916: Sidney Townley (Stanford U., 2nd term)
1917: Frank Cornish (San Francisco)
1918: W. W. Campbell (Lick Observatory, 2nd term)
1919: Beverly Hodghead (San Francisco)
1920: Joseph Moore (Lick Observatory)
1921: Charles Cushing (San Francisco attorney, 2nd term)
1922: Exum Lewis (U. of California, Berkeley)
1923: Walter Adams (U. of California, Berkeley)
1924: Arthur Black (San Francisco banker)
1925: Bernard Benfield (San Francisco engineer)
1926: Bernard Benfield (2nd term)
1927: Paul Merrill (Mt. Wilson Observatory)
1928: Joseph Moore (Lick Observatory; 2nd term)
1929: Frederick Seares (Mt. Wilson Observatory)
1930: William Meyer (U. of California, Berkeley)
1931: Alfred Joy (Mt. Wilson Observatory)
1932: Robert Trumpler (Lick Observatory)
1933: Edwin Hubble (Mt. Wilson Observatory)
1934: Sturla Einarsson (U. of California, Berkeley)
1935: Seth Nicholson (Mt. Wilson Observatory)
1936: Armin Leuschner (U. of California, Berkeley; 2nd term)
1937: Harold Babcock (Mt. Wilson Observatory)
1938: Hamilton Jeffers (Lick Observatory)
1939: Alfred Joy (Mt. Wilson Observatory)
1940: C. Donald Shane (University of California, Berkeley)
1941: Arthur King (Mt. Wilson Observatory)
1942: Nicholas Mayall (Lick Observatory)
1943: Armin Leuschner (University of California, Berkeley; 3rd term)
1944: Roscoe Sanford (Mt. Wilson Observatory)
1945: Ferdinand Neubauer (Lick Observatory)
1946: Ralph Wilson (Mt. Wilson Observatory)
1947: C. Donald Shane (Lick Observatory; 2nd term)
1948: Ira Bowen (Mt. Wilson Observatory)
1949: Robert Trumpler (U. of California, Berkeley; 2nd term)
1950: Dinsmore Alter (Griffith Observatory)
1951: Otto Struve (U. of California, Berkeley)
1952 – 1953: Gerald Kron (Lick Observatory)
1954 – 1955: Olin Wilson (Mt. Wilson & Palomar Observatories
1956 – 1957: Andrew McKellar (Dominion Astrophysical Observatory)
1958 – 1959: Nicholas Mayall (Lick Observatory; 2nd term)
1960 – 1962: Seth Nicholson (Mt. Wilson-Palomar Observatories; 2nd term)
1962 – 1965: Robert Petrie (Dominion Astrophysical Observatory)
1965 – 1967: Louis Henyey (U. of California, Berkeley)
1967 – 1969: Helmut Abt (Kitt Peak National Observatory)
1969 – 1971: George Abell (U. of California, Los Angeles)
1971 – 1973: Harold Weaver (U. of California, Berkeley)
1973 – 1975: Ray Weymann (U. of Arizona)
1975 – 1977: Geoffrey Burbidge (U. of California, San Diego)
1977 – 1979: Ann Boesgaard (U. of Hawaii)
1979 – 1981: Leonard Kuhi (U. of California, Berkeley)
1981 – 1983: Halton Arp (Hale Observatories)
1983 – 1985: David Morrison (U. of Hawaii & NASA Ames)
1985 – 1987: Sidney Wolff (U. of Hawaii, NOAO)
1987 – 1989: James Hesser (Dominion Astrophysical Observatory)
1989 – 1991: Frank Drake (U. of California, Santa Cruz)
1991 – 1993: Julie Lutz (Washington State U.)
1993 – 1995: Russ Genet (Fairborn Observatory)
1995 – 1997: Bruce Carney (U. of North Carolina)
1997 – 1999: John Percy (U. of Toronto)
1999 – 2001: Frank Bash (U. of Texas)
2001 – 2003: Alexei Filippenko (U. of California, Berkeley)
2003 – 2005: Catharine Garmany (U. of Colorado; National Optical Astronomy Observatories)
2005 – 2007: Dennis Schatz (Pacific Science Center, Seattle)
2007 – 2009: James Kaler (U. of Illinois)
2009 – 2011: Bruce Partridge (Haverford College)
2011 – 2013: William A. Gutsch, Jr. (St. Peter’s College)
2013 – present: Gordon Myers (IBM)

Executive Directors of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific

For the first eight decades of its existence, the Society thrived through the voluntary work of its officers and directors. But as the ASP grew, it became necessary to hire paid staff to assist in keeping track of dues, membership, publications, etc. By the late 1960s, the Board saw the need for a more formal executive officer to oversee the staff and the growing list of Society activities, and the position was established in 1971.

1971 – 1974: Leon Salanave
1974 – 1978: Richard Reis
1978 – 1992: Andrew Fraknoi
1993 – 1999: Robert Havlen
2000 – 2001: James White
2002 – 2007: Michael Bennett
2007 – : James Manning