Charles Elachi is the director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena and the vice president of the California Institute of Tecnology.
Elachi was born on April 18, 1947 in Lebanon. He received his bachelor's degree in physics from Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France in 1968, his first master's degree in engineering from the Grenoble Institute of Technology that same year, and his second master's degree in electrical sciences one year later from the California Institute of Technology. Elachi went on to receive his doctorate in electrical sciences in 1971 from the California Institute of Technology. He continued his education, earning an MBA from the University of Southern California in 1979 and a master's degree in geology from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1983.
Elachi began his career at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1970. He was an active team member as well as team leader for several research and development studies and flight projects sponsored by NASA, and served as the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's director for space and earth science programs between 1982 and 2000. He has also authored over two hundred publications in the fields of active microwave remote sensing and electromagnetic theory, and holds several patents within these two fields. In addition to his work at the Jet Propulsion laboratory, Elachi taught the physics of remote sensing at the California Institute of Technology between 1982 and 2001.
In 1992, Elachi received the IEEE Medal for Engineering Excellence. Elachi has been the recipient of several awards and honors from NASA, the National Defense Industrial Association, and the Space Foundation, among many more.