Advisory Council

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins is a world leader in groundbreaking research in condensed matter physics, particle physics, astronomy and astrophysics, and plasma physics.

In 2008, an Advisory Council was established to guide, promote, and support the department in its efforts to increase funding, establish external partnerships, and conduct professional outreach.

The council has a formal structure with a chair, a vice chair, an executive committee, and two sub-committees: one for Research and Industry Partnerships and one for Fundraising and Advocacy. Members of the Advisory Council include alumni of the department; leaders in education, industry, business, and non-profit organizations; and researchers.

The Advisory Council meets annually in June and the sub-committees meet throughout the year. Its members engage in the following:

  • Advising the department on strategic planning and research activities
  • Assisting with fundraising and other resource acquisition
  • Providing access to industries, businesses, and research organizations that can result in internships or research opportunities for students and faculty
  • Serving as advocates for the department and its interests within the broader external community.

In addition, the Advisory Council strives to address these key areas:

  • Attract more students, particularly women and minority students, to science by providing more scholarships and research opportunities.
  • Foster more department-public/private sector dialogue to advance the department’s research.
  • Address diminished public/government funding for “pure research.”

Current Membership

Current Membership

Noor Islam, Chair, Physics and Astronomy Advisory Council
Managing Director in Fixed Income Currencies & Commodities (FICC) Trading at Merrill Lynch

Homaira Akbari,
President and CEO, AKnowledge Partners

Shane Burn
Managing Director, Lake Hill Capital

Howard Cooper, Vice Chair, Physics and Astronomy Advisory Council
CEO, Cooper Family Office

Matthew A. Earl
Retired Associate Professor of Medical Physics, University of Maryland School of Medicine

Bruce Gebhardt 
Co-founder and Principal, Pathfinder Capital Advisors, LLC

Paul Horvath
Group CEO, Orchard Global Capital Group

David Kupperman 
Managing Director, Neuberger Berman Group, LLC

Jennifer W. Lopez
Founding Member, Datanaut Corps, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Technology and Innovation at NASA; Founder and CEO, Wisenn & Co.

Heidi Messer
Co-founder/Chairman, Collective
Co-founder/CEO, WorldEvolved

Trisha Muro
Science Writer

David Nicholson
Founder and Chairman, York Management & Research, Inc.

Matthew Polk
Former Chairman and Co-founder, Polk Audio, Inc.

Gillian Sandler
Partner, Galapoint, LLC

Matthew R. Witten
Director, CyberKnife Radiosurgery, Winthrop University Hospital