Deputy Chief Scientist

Susan Owen

Deputy Chief ScientistSince joining JPL in 2004, Susan has been an active in the JPL research community, specializing in the use of space geodesy for Earth Science. She has held leadership positions at JPL over the years, including managerial roles within the Earth Science Section, and within the Earth Science and Technology Directorate. She previously led the Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) project, was the NISAR Deputy Applications Lead and most recently served as Deputy Project Scientist for the NISAR mission. Susan was also co-lead of an Engineering and Science Directorate initiative, Scientific Understanding from Data Science (SUDS).

Susan has been instrumental in formulation of JPL’s climate strategy and is a visible leader in the Lab’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) efforts. While at JPL, Susan has been a leader in the geodesy community, having served as the AGU Geodesy Section President and in several leadership and committee roles within EarthScope and the Southern California Earthquake Center. She was appointed JPL Principal in 2018 and was awarded JPL’s People Leadership Award in 2022.

Prior to her Laboratory employment, Susan was an Assistant Professor of Geophysics at USC. Susan received her bachelor’s degree in physics from Harvard-Radcliffe University, a doctoral degree in Geophysics from Stanford University and was a Miller Postdoctoral Research Fellow at UC Berkeley.

In the spirit of Daring Mighty Things Together, Susan completed the Angeles Crest 100-mile Endurance Run in August 2015, with two JPL’ers as her pacers, each running 25-mile segments with her.