John C. Mester, Ph.D., assumed overall leadership and strategic direction of Universities Research Association, Inc. (URA) on September 1, 2021.
Headquartered in Washington, DC, URA, a nonprofit 501(c)(3), is a consortium of more than 90 premier research universities and was founded to build and operate unique research facilities in the national interest. Since 2007 through the Fermi Research Alliance, LLC (FRA), URA shares responsibility with the University of Chicago to manage the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. In addition, URA is a member of the Honeywell-led team National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia (NTESS) for the management and operation of Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). URA also receives funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for U.S. participation in the 17-country Pierre Auger Cosmic Ray Observatory in Argentina.
Prior to joining URA, John served as Associate Vice President for Research and Professor in the College of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona. Before that, John was Vice President for Science and Programs at Associated Universities, Inc., which manages the $864 million cooperative agreement for the management and operation of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory for the National Science Foundation.
John earned his doctoral and master's degrees in physics from Harvard University and his undergraduate degree in physics and mathematics, Phi Beta Kappa, from The Johns Hopkins University.