BREAKTHROUGH PRIZE FOUNDATION
Simon Peter “Pete” Worden, (Brig. Gen., USAF, Ret., PhD) (born 1949, in Michigan, USA) is the Chairman of the Breakthrough Prize Foundation and Executive Director of the foundation’s ‘Breakthrough Initiatives’. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Michigan and a PhD in Astronomy for the University of Arizona. Priorto joining the Breakthrough Prize Foundation, Dr. Worden was Director of NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, California, USA until his retirement on March 31, 2015. He has held several positions in the United States Air Force and was research professor of astronomy at the University of Arizona, Tucson, USA. He is a recognized expert on space and science issues –both civil and military andhas been a leader in building partnerships between governments and the private sector internationally.
At the Royal Society in London on July 20, 2015, Yuri Milner, Stephen Hawking and Lord Martin Rees announced a set of initiatives —a scientific program aimed at finding evidence of technological life beyond Earth entitled ‘Breakthrough Listen', and a contest to devise potential messages named 'Breakthrough Message’. In addition, atop the One World Trade Center in New York on April 20, 2016, Breakthrough Starshot was announced, an interstellar program to Alpha Centauri. These are the first of several privately-funded global initiatives to answer the fundamental science questions surrounding the origin, extent and nature of life in the universe. The Breakthrough Initiatives are managed by the Breakthrough Prize Foundation. Breakthroughinitiatives.org