Angela V. Olinto


Angela V. Olinto is Professor of Astronomy and of Physics and Provost of the University.

As Provost, Olinto is Columbia’s chief academic officer, and works to advance the academic distinction, intellectual richness, creativity, and integrity of the many facets of Columbia University. She supports President Shafik in the development and implementation of the University’s strategic academic priorities, and leads the deans and faculty in their pursuit of research and teaching excellence.

Olinto directs the development and implementation of Columbia's academic plans and policies, and supervises the work of its schools, departments, institutes, and research centers, with the support of a dedicated team of Vice Provosts and staff of the Office of the Provost. She manages faculty appointments and the tenure review process, supports faculty recruitment and retention as the University collectively aspires to diversify talent and expand excellence, seeds new education initiatives, and heads efforts to lower barriers to cross-disciplinary initiatives that expand the individual and collective impact of our faculty and students. In addition to the Office of the Provost, she oversees a number of centers and institutes, offices, and other academic resources, including the Data Science Institute, University Libraries, the Italian Academy, and the Columbia University Press.

Prior to joining Columbia in March 2024, Olinto was Dean of the Division of the Physical Sciences and the Albert A. Michelson Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, and the Enrico Fermi Institute at the University of Chicago. She previously served as Chair of the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics there from 2003 to 2006 and again from 2012 to 2017.

As a scholar, Olinto is best known for her contributions to the study of the structure of neutron stars, primordial inflationary theory, cosmic magnetic fields, the nature of the dark matter, and the origin of the highest energy cosmic rays, gamma-rays, and neutrinos. She is the Principal Investigator of the POEMMA (Probe Of Extreme Multi-Messenger Astrophysics) space mission and the EUSO (Extreme Universe Space Observatory) on a super pressure balloon (SPB) missions, and was a member of the Pierre Auger Observatory, all designed to discover the origin of the highest energy cosmic particles, their sources, and their interactions.

Olinto is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences. She is a fellow of the American Physical Society and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She received the Brazilian Order of Rio Branco medal at the rank of Commander in 2023, a Chaire d’Excellence Award of the French Agence Nationale de Recherche in 2006, the Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2011, and the Faculty Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching in 2015 at the University of Chicago. She received a BS in Physics from the Pontifícia Universidade Católica of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1981, and PhD in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1987.