Dr. Dan McCleese is chief scientist for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In this role, he is responsible for leadership of the scientific and research community at JPL, and serves as the focal point for interactions with universities and the external research community. He is the principal investigator for the Mars Climate Sounder instrument on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Between 1994 and 2006, McCleese served as JPL's chief scientist for Mars exploration, working with the international science community to establish the present and future strategy for exploring Mars.
McCleese was a Fulbright Scholar at Jesus College, Oxford University in the United Kingdom, where he earned his doctorate in atmospheric physics. Since coming to JPL, he has worked on NASA missions to study Earth's atmosphere, Venus and Mars. He has been a visiting associate in planetary science at the California Institute of Technology since 2000, and in 2005, he received NASA's Outstanding Leadership Medal.