David H. Reitze

Executive Director, LIGO Laboratory
Research Professor of Physics, Caltech

626 395 6274 (Ph)


My research program is centered broadly on gravitational-wave physics and astronomy, and specifically on the development and operation of current and future gravitational-wave detectors and on understanding what gravitational wave astronomy tells us about the universe. This includes gravitational-wave astrophysics, investigations of thermal effects in interferometers, development of high power optical components, as well as the design, construction, and operation of the LIGO interferometers located in Hanford, WA and Livingston, LA.

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Administration and Leadership

I currently serve as the Executive Director of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology. I oversee a 180 person scientific and engineering staff that built and operates the LIGO Observatories in Hanford, WA and Livingston, LA. I also hold a concurrent position as a Research Professor at the California Institute of Technology. Prior to joining Caltech, I was a Professor of Physics at the University of Florida. From 2007 to 2011, I served as the Spokesperson of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC), a group of 1500 scientists and engineers carrying out the LIGO science program.


The recent discoveries of gravitational waves have generated a lot of excitement and a great deal of press coverage. Read just some of the stories below:

  • Announced on Oct 16, 2017 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC
  • Press conference announcing the 1st detection of gravitational waves from a binary neutron star merger by LIGO and Virgo
  • Articles in New York Times, Washington Post, Oct 16, 2017