Dr. William Reach

Director of Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) Science and Mission Operations

photo of Dr. William Reach

Dr. William Reach serves as Director of Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) Science and Mission Operations. Prior to assuming this role, he was USRA’s Associate Director for SOFIA where he directed the SOFIA Science Operations including Planning and Scheduling, Instrument Support, Data Processing and Outreach, and performed independent research in astrophysics and planetary science. 

Before joining USRA in 2010, he was a research scientist at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at Caltech, where he led the US Planck Data Center, served as Deputy Head of Science Staff, and led the Infrared Array Camera instrument team during the cryogenic mission of the Spitzer Space Telescope. 

Prior to that Dr. Reach was at Stagiaire at the Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale, University of Paris, where he participated in instrument commissioning and calibration for the ISOCAM instrument on the European Space Agency's Infrared Space Observatory. And before that he was a postdoc with the NASA Cosmic Background Explorer team that made the first measurements of the cosmic infrared background.

Dr. Reach’s research interests include Interstellar Clouds, Supernova remnants, Planetary Science and Evolved Stars. He is an expert on studies of dust in the Solar System, including the zodiacal light and comets, as well as the diffuse interstellar medium and cosmic backgrounds.  He has authored numerous research journal articles and holds a Ph.D. in Astronomy from University of California, Berkeley, and an A.B. from Cornell University.

He joined the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee in 2021.