Tom Brown

Head, Hubble Space Telescope Mission Office
Tom Brown

As the head of the Hubble Space Telescope mission office, Dr. Tom Brown is responsible for leading the observatory’s staff and science operations center at the institute, collaborating with mission partners to represent scientific and operational interests, and managing the mission’s budget. He previously served the institute as a mission scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope, which allowed him to lead the work of the instrument and optics teams.

As an instrument scientist for Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) team, Dr. Brown participated in thermal-vacuum testing and calibration, developed the instrument performance model, and explored its scientific capabilities. As an instrument scientist for Hubble’s Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS), he worked on calibration, troubleshooting, and user support. He has been an astronomer at the institute since joining in 2001.

Earlier in his career, Dr. Brown served as a postdoctoral research associate at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and as an adjunct professor at Loyola University in Baltimore. As a doctoral student at Johns Hopkins University, he was involved in the integration, testing, and ground control of the Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope (HUT) for the Astro-2 space shuttle mission.

Dr. Brown has acted as the principal investigator of over a dozen Hubble programs. His work has aimed to obtain high-precision ages in ultra-faint dwarf galaxies to investigate quenching during the era of reionization, measure the star-formation histories through various structures of the neighboring Andromeda Galaxy, and determine the first parallax and high-precision distance for an ancient metal-poor globular cluster. Dr. Brown publishes his work in the Astronomical Journal and the Astrophysical Journal, and presents his research in a variety of settings for both the public and astronomical community.


PhD in Astrophysics, Johns Hopkins University
MA in Astrophysics, Johns Hopkins University
BS in Physics and Astrophysics, Pennsylvania State University


Science/Research Interests:

  • Star formation histories of nearby galaxies
  • Stellar evolution in low mass stars
  • Stellar population modeling
  • Crowded field photometry
  • Spatially resolved spectroscopy
  • Model stellar atmospheres and synthetic spectra


Research Topics: Star Formation, Histories, and Evolution; Local Group Galaxies; Galaxy Formation and Evolution; Stellar Populations; Star Clusters; Resolved Stellar Populations


Professional Websites: Professional Website


ORCID ID: 0000-0002-1793-9968