Charles Kennel

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Charles F. Kennel (born 1939) is an American scientist and member of the United States National Academy of Sciences born in Cambridge, Massachusetts.[1] Kennel received a bachelor's degree in astronomy from Harvard College and a doctorate in astrophysical sciences from Princeton University.[2] In 1997 he received the James Clerk Maxwell Prize in Plasma Physics. In 2009, he was advertised by NASA Watch as a potential pick by Barack Obama as the next NASA Administrator.[3]


Charles Kennel is a former Associate Administrator of NASA. He was the director of Mission to Planet Earth, a program during the Clinton Administration to perform a comprehensive survey and observation of our home planet. He was a member and chair of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC) Science Committee which he quit in 2006.[4]


  • Unstable growth of unducted whistlers propagating at an angle to the geomagnetic field - 1966 - Trieste : International Atomic Energy Agency, International Centre for Theoretical Physics
  • What we have learned from the magnetosphere - 1974 - Los Angeles, Calif. : Plasma Physics Group, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Matter in motion : the spirit and evolution of physics - 1977 - Charles F. Kennel and Ernest S. Abers - Boston : Allyn and Bacon
  • Convection And Substorms: Paradigms Of Magnetospheric Phenomenology - 1996 - Oxford University Press, Usa - ISBN 0-19-508529-9
  • The Climate Threat We Can Beat, in May/June 2012 Foreign Affairs with David G. Victor, Veerabhadran Ramanathan, and Kennel (website is paid while article is current)


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Preceded by
Edward A. Frieman
Director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography
1998 --2006
Succeeded by
Tony Haymet