The universe awaits

Advisory Council

Our project is made possible by our Founder Institutions as well as individual and corporate sponsorship.
Members of the Giant Magellan Telescope Advisory Council serve as public advocates of our telescope, connecting with philanthropists interested in furthering astronomy and joining one of the largest science-focused public-private partnerships in history.
  • Walter Massey

    Walter Massey

    Board Chair, Former Director of the National Science Foundation

    Dr. Walter Massey is the Chair of the Board of Directors of the GMTO Corporation. He is also Chairman of the Board of the City Colleges of Chicago and Senior Advisor to the President of the University of Chicago. Dr. Massey is President Emeritus of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), having served as President from 2010-2016, and Chancellor from 2016-2018. He is the former Director of Argonne National Laboratory and former Vice President for Research at the University of Chicago. From 1991 to 1993, Dr. Massey served as Director of the National Science Foundation before joining the University of California system as Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs. In 1995 he became President of Morehouse College, where he served for twelve years. He has been professor of physics at Brown, University of Chicago, and UC Santa Cruz.

    In the corporate sector, Dr. Massey is the former Chairman of Bank of America and a former member of the Board of Directors of the McDonald’s Corporation and Delta Airlines. He has also served on the boards of the Mellon Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Commonwealth Fund, Smithsonian Institution, and others. He has been recognized with honorary degrees from 42 universities, including Harvard, Yale, SAIC, Columbia, and Brown.

  • Eduardo Ergas

    Eduardo Ergas

    President, Fundación Ecoscience

    Based in Santiago, Chile, Eduardo Ergas is a philanthropist and entrepreneur with broad experience in the financial sector. Eduardo is President of Fundación EcoScience and President President and Owner of EcoCopter. Eduardo belongs to several boards in Chile and the US. In 2004, he founded the Chilean not-for-profit Fundación EcoScience to create a bridge between the scientific community and Chilean society.

  • Patricia López

    Patricia López

    Vice President, Fundación Ecoscience, Architect

    Patricia is the Vice President of Fundación EcoScience and is a commercial architect. She is also the director of the Mi Parque Foundation. Patricia Lopez is the wife of Eduardo Ergas.

  • Jeff Sine

    Jeff Sine

    Co-Founder Raine Group, Co-Founder Sine Institute of Policy & Politics

    Jeff Sine is Co-Founder and Partner of the Raine Group, a global merchant bank focused on technology, media and telecommunications. A three-time Tony Award Winner, Jeff has produced plays and musicals Broadway and in London’s West End.

  • Samira Sine

    Samira Sine

    Journalist, Co-Founder Sine Institute of Policy & Politics

    Samira Sine has more than 15 years’ experience as a journalist, writer, on-air broadcaster, and producer at the BBC’s World Business Report, Reuters, and the Huffington Post. Samira has served on multiple boards of organizations committed to women’s and children’s health and education.

  • George Whitesides

    George Whitesides

    Chair, Space Advisory Board for Virgin Galactic

    George T. Whitesides is CSO (Chief Space Officer) at Virgin Galactic and was long time CEO of Virgin Galactic. Previously, George was Chief of Staff of NASA, and Executive Director of the National Space Society.

  • Robert Shelton

    Robert Shelton

    President, Giant Magellan Telescope

    Dr. Robert Shelton is President of the GMTO Corporation, the international nonprofit organization building the Giant Magellan Telescope. Prior to joining the Giant Magellan Telescope in 2017, Dr. Shelton was the President of the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, America’s first foundation dedicated solely to funding science. Previously, Dr. Shelton served as the 19th President of the University of Arizona, the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, and the Vice Provost for Research for the University of California system. His leadership role involving large astronomy project includes governing board service on the Keck Observatories (California Association for Research in Astronomy), the LSST Corporation (Rubin Observatory), the Space Telescope Institute Council (Hubble Telescope), and the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy.

    As a distinguished physicist, Dr. Shelton studied experimental condensed matter focusing on novel materials and their properties. During this time, he authored more than 240 research publications in refereed journals and 100 contributing papers. Dr. Shelton received his B.S. from Stanford University and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego.

  • Jennifer Eccles

    Jennifer Eccles

    Vice President of Development and External Relations, Giant Magellan Telescope

    Jennifer Eccles is the Vice President for Development and External Relations at GMTO. For ten years, she worked at the University of Southern California in development leadership roles, as the Executive Director of Development at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy and the Chief Development Officer at USC Libraries. Jennifer has spent her career in higher education advancement, and has worked at the University of Washington, Washington State University and the University of Idaho in development roles.