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Chris Ford

Chris Ford

Since childhood I have been passionately interested in astronomy and exploring new technologies of visual expression. I have always been fascinated in combining these interests to enable the public to comprehend and experience the immense size and complexities of celestial phenomena. To further this cause, it has been a privilege to be part of the mission of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. I joined the board in 2011, served as President of the society between 2017 to 2019, and now it is my honor to serve as Chief Executive Officer.

My background in visual media software development, product management, and marketing, is extremely applicable to the ASP’s mission of communicating astronomy through educational experiences that channel modern media techniques in ways that the public expects.

I have been fortunate to have been a key participant in the computer graphics (CGI) revolution that since the 1990’s has transformed the world of media and science communication. For 12-years, I was Business Director at Pixar Animation Studios (Walt Disney Co.) where I grew the studio's photorealistic RenderMan technology to a dominant 70% market share of all feature films with rendered content. I have also held senior product, marketing, and business leadership positions at Prezi Inc, Roblox Corp, Autodesk, and at Alias|Wavefront (Silicon Graphics) where in 1998 I helped introduce Maya to the market, the world's leading professional media CGI content creation software.

I have been directly and indirectly associated with numerous well-known motion picture, planetaria, and educational visualizations with astronomy themes. Media product solutions under my management have been awarded three Scientific and Technical Academy Awards for technological innovation and I am credited in twelve feature films.

My other passions include astrophotography, very large telescopes, historical research, science fiction, writing, and hiking all over my home state of Arizona.