Abraham "Avi" Loeb (born February 26, 1962) is an Israeli-American theoretical physicist who works on astrophysics and cosmology. Loeb is the Frank B. Baird Jr. Professor of Science at Harvard University. He had been the longest serving Chair of Harvard's Department of Astronomy (2011–2020), Founding Director of Harvard's Black Hole Initiative (since 2016) and Director of the Institute for Theory and Computation (since 2007) within the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
Loeb is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Physical Society, and the International Academy of Astronautics. In July 2018 he was appointed as chair of the Board on Physics and Astronomy (BPA) of the National Academies, which is the Academies' forum for issues connected with the fields of Physics and Astronomy including oversight of their decadal surveys.
In June 2020, Loeb was sworn in as a member of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) at the White House. In December 2012, TIME magazine selected Loeb as one of the 25 most influential people in space. In 2015, Loeb was appointed as the Science Theory Director for the Breakthrough Initiatives of the Breakthrough Prize Foundation. In 2018, he attracted media attention for suggesting that alien space craft may be in our solar system, using the anomalous behavior of 'Oumuamua as an example. In 2019, and together with his Harvard undergraduate student, Amir Siraj, Loeb reported discovering a meteor that potentially originated outside the Solar System.
On the night of October 19, 2017, the waves cradling the coast of the Haleakalā Observatory in Hawaii glowed yellow as the sky broke into a bright, pulsing light—or, not so much. While the first glimpse of an interstellar neighbor provokes expectations of flying saucers, probing lasers, and small, oddly disproportionate people asking you to take them to your leader, the appearance of ‘Oumuamua was nothing of the sort. Despite provocative evidence that our quiet visitor is in fact a glimmer of extraterrestrial intelligence, the scientific community is apprehensive to entertain this paradigm-shifting possibility. Acclaimed astrophysicist and Harvard professor, Avi Loeb defies the academic crowd to encourage an evidence-based search for extraterrestrial intelligence, a humbling inquiry that may change the nature of science itself.
Bio information sourced from Wikipedia