Joan Najita, Ph.D., Astronomer and Head of Scientific Staff for User Support at NSF’s National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory (NOIRLab). She is an elected member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and a 2021–2022 Daniels Fellow at Harvard Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Dr. Najita was formerly the Chief Scientist at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO). She has led development of infrared molecular spectroscopy of disks, thermal-chemical models of disk atmospheres, and the synthesis of diverse data sets. In addition to her research, Dr Najita has been a strong advocate for science communication.