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 2023-2025

AURA EIC Charter (pdf)


Ameerah McBride, Chief Diversity Officer ex officio

Diversity Advocates

Yong Taing, Technologist, Space Telescope Science Institute

Joshua Goldberg, Senior Engineer, Space Telescope Science Institute 

Sanjay Gusain, Observatory Scientist, National Solar Observatory

Stacey Sueoka, Senior Engineer, National Solar Observatory

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

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

Sandra Ortiz, NOIRLab Executive Coordinator, NOIRLab

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


Nestor Espinoza Perez, Assistant Astronomer, STScI


James Paranilam, Senior Test Engineer, STScI


Orion Wiest, Export Control Officer, CAS Procurement

Human Resources

Therese Sampaia, Human Resources Manager, AURA-HR NSF Funded Centers
Rachel Fosen Cutri,
Human Resources Generalist, AURA-HR NSF Funded Centers

Corporate Office

Dana Lehr, Vice President for Programs, AURA Corporate Office 


Diversity and Inclusion Information

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