Dr. Kartik Sheth
Dr. Kartik Sheth is a mission-driven executive leader with a career spanning academia, non-profits, and government. As the founder and CEO of Empowered Earth Alliance, he leads an extremely diverse and inclusive team in using scientific and technical knowledge to empower local leaders in strategic planning, business development, and evidence-based policy and decision making. Previously Dr. Sheth served as the Assistant Director for Research Infrastructures and Science Equity in the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President at the White House. There he led a range of activities from oversight of the nation's science and technology research enterprise, advanced manufacturing, environmental justice and increasing equity with innovative strategy and policy solutions. For the past seven years, Dr. Sheth has been a Program Scientist at NASA Headquarters where he has worked in both the astrophysics and earth science divisions overseeing numerous space missions, research and development programs in cutting-edge technology, helping develop a microeconomics framework for the value of societal benefits from earth observations, and working towards some of the UN sustainable development goals. In his career, Dr. Sheth has been an architect of national and international programs advancing equity, racial justice and inclusion. In 2021, he was awarded NASA's highest award - the Agency medal for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for his work leading the Anti-Racism Action group and other IDEA activities at the agency. Prior to NASA, Dr. Sheth was a commissioning and science verification liaison for the Atacama Large Millimeter Submillimeter Array in Chile, a tenured astronomer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and the first Director for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at NRAO. Prior to that, for nine years, Dr. Sheth was at the California Institute of Technology where he did ground-breaking astrophysics research on the assembly of galaxy disks over cosmic time. Born and raised in India, Dr. Sheth earned a BA in physics from Grinnell College, a MS in Physics from University of Minnesota and a MS and PhD in astrophysics from the University of Maryland. Outside of academia, he has been involved in various volunteer activities, most importantly as a co-chair of an Environmental Justice group for the DC Chapter for the Climate Reality Project, a violence prevention specialist for the LA Commission on Assaults against Women (now known as Peace over Violence), and a sexual harassment prevention trainer at U. Maryland, . In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, biking and cooking new vegan dishes. and generally causing trouble everywhere he goes.