In Memory of
William E. Howard, III
August 25, 1932 – June 25, 2016
Dr. William E. Howard, III graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a B.S. degree in physics in 1954. He also holds a master’s degree (1956) and Ph.D. degree (1958) in astronomy from Harvard University. His career has been an equal mixture of government service and activities in the non-profit sectors that involve education, research and research management, including awards for scientific research and development.
Dr. Howard retired in October 1999 from the Universities Space Research Asso- ciation (USRA) where he was Director of Astronomy and Space Physics Programs from August 1995. His current activities involve consulting on topics pertaining to space and military affairs, financial investments, commenting to the National Academy of Sciences on commercial applications for radio frequency allocations near radio astronomy bands, reviewing books on space-related topics for college libraries, and assessing the impact of future technologies.
Prior to joining USRA, Dr. Howard was Director of the Advanced Concepts and Space Directorate in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Research, Development, and Acquisition), where he handled issues involving space, ballistic missile and new technology development, including non-lethal weapons, from 1991 to 1995. Prior to that, he was Technical Director at the Naval Space Command, Dahlgren, Virginia where he developed instrumentation for manned activities on the space shuttle and initiated a program for detecting radio frequency interference from a small satel- lite.
Before joining the Naval Space Command in 1985, Dr. Howard served with the Central Intelligence Agency as the Senior Intelligence Analyst for the Space Systems Division, working on current and future foreign satellite system missions and capabilities, long-range planning for space intelligence and other space-related assessments.
In 1982, Dr. Howard worked with the Office of Technology Assessment, Congress of the United States, where he undertook a study of the issues and problems connected with the nation’s space research pro- gram.
Dr. Howard served as Director of the Division of Astronomical Sciences at the National Science Foundation from 1977 to 1982 and was responsible for the funding of university research proposals in ground-based astronomy and for the operations of five major national astronomical research observatories.
Between 1964 and 1977 at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Green Bank, West Virginia, Dr. Howard conducted scientific research and helped manage the observatory as it was developing into a major national center for radio astronomical research. From 1974 to 1977 he was Site Director at Green Bank.
As a Research Associate and then Assistant and Associate Professor of Astronomy at the University of Michigan from 1959 to 1964, Dr. Howard engaged in research in radio astronomy, taught graduate and undergraduate courses, advised and taught honors students, and participated in other academic committee activities.
Dr. Howard is a member of the International Astronomical Union; the American Astronomical Society for which he served as Treasurer and a member of the Executive Committee in 1975-77; the International Scientific Radio Union; the Astronomical Society of the Pacific; and Sigma Xi. He is a life member of the Naval Institute. He has authored many publications for professional and technical journals on planetary and galactic astronomy, and on the military utility of satellites. His hobbies include genealogy and collecting British Conder Tokens.
Dr. Howard married the former Miriam R. Sitler. They have two children, Bill and Jennifer, who have families of their own in St. Louis and New York City, respectively.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, July 23, at 2 p.m. at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 1545 Chain Bridge Rd, McLean, VA 22101. Private burial in Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D. C.
Arrangements are under the direction of Murphy Funeral Home, Falls Church, Virginia.