Matthew Wallace, Director for Planetary Science
Matt Wallace is the Director for Planetary Sciences at JPL. He oversees formulation, development, and operations of NASA missions to the Outer Planets, Mars, Venus, asteroids, and the Moon. Prior to becoming director, Matt held various project leadership roles, most recently managing the Psyche asteroid mission and as Deputy Project Manager and Project Manager for the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover mission. Matt initiated the concept work for Perseverance in 2012 and led the development and implementation team for nearly a decade through spacecraft launch and successful landing at Jezero Crater in February 2021. Matt worked on all five NASA mars rovers, beginning as a power systems engineer on the Mars Pathfinder Sojourner vehicle. He led the assembly and test team for the twin Spirit and Opportunity missions which landed in 2004, and held the Flight System Manager role on the 2012 Curiosity mission. He has worked on other planetary missions, and as a program manager for Earth-observing satellites in the aerospace industry.
Matt graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland with a Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering, and served in the US Navy fast attack submarine fleet. He holds a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering from Caltech. He is the recipient of three NASA Outstanding Leadership awards, three Navy Achievement Medals, and the Navy Expeditionary Medal.