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Miguel Román

Role: 
MODIS Team Lead

Miguel O. Román serves as Senior Director and Chief Scientist of Climate and Environment at Leidos. He is the Team Leader of the MODIS science team on Terra and Aqua, as well as the Land Discipline Leader for the Suomi-NPP and NOAA-20 VIIRS science team. He joined NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in 2009 as a physical scientist, and previously served as Chair of the Land Product Validation Subgroup of the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) Working Group on Calibration and Validation (WGCV). As a team member, he has maintained an active role (as P.I. and Co-I) in the development of science algorithms being run routinely to process MODIS and VIIRS data, including the Land Surface Reflectance Anisotropy and Albedo, the Snow and Ice, and Black Marble nighttime lights product suites.

A leading expert in the fields of climate change, disaster risk reduction, and sustainability, Román has championed translational research and data-intensive approaches to assess and address climate-related risks. His work is internationally recognized for shedding light on the disproportionate hardships experienced by socially-vulnerable and underserved communities following major disasters. 

Among his volunteer activities, Román currently serves as Chair of NASA's Land-Atmosphere Near-Real Time Capability of EOS User Working Group (LANCE). In this role, he represents the broad needs of NASA's application user communities and provides guidance concerning a full range of topics related to the LANCE data system, capabilities, and services. Román is also a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and serves on the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s (NASEM) Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability.

A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Dr. Román was recognized by President Barack Obama in 2016 with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). He is also a 2014 Service to America Medal "Sammies" finalist, one of the highest honors for federal civil servants. His writings have been featured in international publications and news outlets, including NPR, The Washington Post, NBC, The Economist, Telemundo, Smithsonian Magazine, and BBC World News.

Román holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, a master's degree in systems engineering from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. in geography from Boston University.