Montage of diverse AURA employees

Encouraging Diversity and Inclusion

AURA, as a leader in the astronomical community, develops and supports programs that advance our organizational commitment to diversity, broadens participation, and encourages the advancement of diversity throughout the astronomical scientific workforce.

AURA is committed to the people that support our mission to advance astronomy and related sciences. We are deeply invested in developing and improving our policies and practices to create a welcoming and productive work environment. AURA believes that a diverse and inclusive workforce, particularly one that includes women and individuals from under-represented minority groups, contributes to excellence both in our organization and in the scientific community as a whole.


Equity and Inclusion Council


Ameerah McBride, Chief Diversity Officer ex officio

Diversity Advocates

Catherine Riggs, Database Engineer, Space Telescope Science Institute

William Van Dyke (Van) Dixon, Branch Manager, Space Telescope Science Institute

Sanjay Gusain, Observatory Scientist, National Solar Observatory

Stacey Sueoka, Senior Engineer, National Solar Observatory

Jocelyn Ferrara, Science Operations Specialist, NOIRLab, Gemini Observatory

Natalia McCarthy, Senior Project and Portfolio Coordinator, NOIRLab, Gemini Observatory

Leonor Opazo, Outreach Manager, NOIRLab, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory 

Sandra Ortiz, Executive Coordinator, NOIRLab

Emily Acosta, Senior Graphics/Web Developer, Vera C. Rubin Observatory

Alysha Shugart, Observing Specialist, Vera C. Rubin Observatory


Sarah Jaeggli, Assistant Astronomer, NSO


Scarlin Hernandez, Spacecraft Engineer, STScI


Carolyn Watkins, Business Manager, NSO

Human Resources

Yura Monsanto, Head of HR South, AURA-O

Marvin Harris, Sr. HR Generalist, STScI

Corporate Office

Dana Lehr, Vice President for Programs


Diversity and Inclusion Information

PDFs for download:
AURA’s EEO Policy    |    AURA Recruitment Guide    |    AURA Unconscious Bias Brochure   |    AURA Diversity & Inclusion Reports