Miguel O. Román Founding Director, Earth from Space Institute Universities Space Research Association

Dr. Miguel O. Román is the founding director of The Earth from Space Institute (EfSI), an independent program of Universities Space Research Association (USRA). In this role, Román is dedicated to supporting the development of long-term strategies for reducing disaster risk and promoting community resilience, using space technology. Before joining USRA, Román served for ten years as a civil servant scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, where he pioneered the iconic Black Marble - a series of satellite products that provide global views of Earth at night, with an emphasis on monitoring refugee displacement in conflict zones and communities affected by chronic and compound disasters. Román currently serves as NASA's Terra, Aqua, and Suomi NPP's Land discipline leader, helping manage a worldwide team of investigators in charge of generating long-term data records from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS). He has been a principal investigator on over $5 million of external funding for the development and evaluation of operational products from MODIS and VIIRS. President Barack Obama named him a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) for 2017, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on researchers beginning their independent careers. The press has also widely recognized his work – including major news outlets like The Washington Post, NBC, The Economist, Telemundo, Smithsonian Magazine, and BBC World News.