Press and News

Dr. Edward Moses is Stepping Down as President of Giant Magellan Telescope Organization; Dr. Patrick McCarthy Named Interim President

Pasadena CA – The Giant Magellan Telescope Organization (GMTO) is having a change of leadership.

The GMTO Board of Directors regrets to announce today that Dr. Edward I. Moses is stepping down as President of GMTO in order to deal with family matters that require his attention.

The GMTO Board thanks Dr. Moses for his important service to GMTO in leading the project from the design phase to the start of the construction phase. Dr. Moses was instrumental in sealing the GMTO Founders’ Agreement and in developing the legal and financial framework for the project. He grew the GMTO staff from the initial design team of about 30 people to a world-class organization of more than 90 people, recruiting a team capable of managing an ambitious project at the forefront of modern astronomy, and establishing key organizational structures to support GMT construction and commissioning.

The GMTO Board is pleased to announce that Dr. Patrick J. McCarthy, a Carnegie Observatories astronomer and formerly GMTO Executive Vice President, is now leading GMTO as interim President. Dr. McCarthy has been a key member of GMTO’s leadership team since 2008.

“Having been with this project since the beginning, I am excited by the great progress that we are making,” said Dr. McCarthy. “Ed brought his deep experience to our project and he has left us stronger as a result. He had the insight into the staffing, processes and the review strategy we need for success in this endeavour. We still have an enormous amount of work to do. Our dedicated team is focused on achieving our goal to build the first in the next generation of the world’s largest optical telescopes.”

Professor Taft Armandroff, Chair of the GMTO Board and Director of McDonald Observatory at The University of Texas, Austin, noted that, “Ed has led the GMT project in developing the engineering and technology skillset we need, and implementing more disciplined management approaches to enable successful execution of the project.” He continued, “The Board is also pleased with Ed’s successful recruiting program. We now have a strong technical and corporate staff dedicated to GMT. Their experience from past projects makes this team ideally suited to establish the GMT as one of the most powerful telescopes in the world. We wish Ed well and thank him for his outstanding contributions.”

The Giant Magellan Telescope is on schedule to reach first light in 2022, having successfully passed multiple design reviews by external committees. The telescope will be built at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile on a site that has been levelled in preparation for construction. Three of the seven 8.4-meter primary mirror segments have been cast at the University of Arizona Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab (formerly Steward Observatory Mirror Lab), with the fourth, central segment scheduled for casting in September.