Beyond Academic Careers Advisory Committee (BACAC)


Alice K. B. Monet, AAS Secretary
Alice K. B. Monet
AAS Secretary

History: The Beyond Academic Careers Advisory Committee (BACAC) is hereby chartered by the Board of Trustees. With all terminal academic degrees, astronomers find many career paths, and only a small fraction work in academia. The AAS has relatively tight connections with that small fraction. The BACAC will enhance interactions between the AAS and all astronomers, identify ways for the AAS to engage more closely with all astronomers, will promote a diversity of career options for all astronomers, and will enhance connections between the AAS and industry, government, and other organizations.

Members: The BACAC would comprise a minimum of 11 and a maximum of 15 members, who are predominantly leaders from a mix of large, small, conventional, and entrepreneurial businesses, nonprofit organizations, government, and academia. Two or three members would be faculty in academic institutions. The Committee would include two early career members. Early career includes students and graduates up to 10 years after the last degree attained. Student members must be in the process of completing a master's or PhD in astronomy or astrophysics.

Term: Committee membership is for a term of two years, renewable once for another term. A one-year refractory term is required before being able to serve another term. Inaugural committee members would serve a term of three years, renewable for one additional three-year term, with terms staggered to maintain continuity.

Chair: The Chair of the Committee and its membership would be appointed in a manner consistent with AAS governance procedures. The Chair, in consultation with the Committee, will forward to the AAS Board its chosen appointees. Each year the Committee will elect its Chair from its membership. Graduate students can not serve as Chairs. Appointment as Chair is renewable for up to three years.

Charge: The BACAC will

  • advise the AAS Board on establishing programs and activities that enable the transition for students at all degree levels into a broad range of career paths;
  • advise the AAS Board on issues and policies that affect the community of astronomers working in a range of careers and especially in non-academic areas;
  • engage a broad range of entities including in industry, government, non-profit, and other sectors to understand the skills they need from new astronomy graduates;
  • provide a strong voice within the AAS for astronomers with diverse career paths;
  • facilitate partnerships between AAS and non-academic employers on programs and activities of common interest, such as:
    • Increasing AAS membership
    • Career education and development
    • Awards
    • Policies of common interest, and
    • Financial development

Board of Trustees Liaison

Jack O. Burns

University of Colorado, Boulder
Board Liaison

Term: Jan 2024 – Jan 2025

Acting Treasurer

Committee Chairs

Shaul Hanany

Univ. of Minnesota

Term: Jan 2024 – Jan 2027

Eric Clausen-Brown


Term: Jan 2024 – Jan 2027

Committee Members

Sarah J. Lipscy (She/Her/Hers)

BAE Systems, Inc.

Term: Jan 2024 – Jan 2027

Philip Rosenfield

Microsoft Research

Term: Jan 2024 – Jan 2027

Kevin Schlaufman

Johns Hopkins University

Term: Jan 2024 – Jan 2027

Nathan E. Sanders


Term: Jan 2024 – Jan 2027

Nicholas Hunt-Walker


Term: Jan 2024 – Jan 2027

Emma Marcucci (She/Her/Hers)

Space Telescope Science Institute

Term: Jan 2024 – Jan 2027

Timothy Stuart Banks


Term: Jan 2024 – Jan 2027

Jeffrey M. Silverman (He/Him/His)


Term: Jan 2024 – Jan 2027