Keyur Patel is director for the Interplanetary Network Directorate at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Before his appointment in 2013, he served as deputy director for the Solar System Exploration Directorate (2009 to 2013) and the Office of Safety and Mission Success (2008 to 2009). He has also served as project manager for NASA's Dawn mission, overseeing the mission's reorganization and development through its successful launch in September 2007, and as project manager and chief engineer for the Deep Impact mission during its encounter with comet Tempel 1 in July 2005. Joining JPL in 1986, he spent more than 15 years in various flight systems and engineering roles, working on missions including Mars Observer, Topex/Poseidon and Voyager.
He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in aerospace engineering from California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, Calif. He has been the recipient of three NASA medals for outstanding leadership (Dawn), exceptional engineering (Deep Impact) and exceptional service (Spitzer).