Collaboration Organization

On this page you will find information about the organization of the Rubin Observatory LSST Dark Energy Science Collaboration (DESC).

Member Lists

Management Team

The DESC Management Team, which comprises the Spokesperson, Deputy Spokesperson, the Coordinators, and Operations Manager, is responsible for managing the collaboration’s scientific activities to maximize the scientific return on the funding agencies’ investment in LSST, focusing on dark energy (the DESC’s core mission) and, more broadly, the fundamental physics of the Universe with LSST data. The Management Team is defined in the LSST DESC Governance Plan.

Inquiries of the DESC Spokesperson team (Spokesperson and Deputy Spokesperson) can be sent to: lsst-desc-spokesperson [at]

Spokesperson team emerita: Katrin Heitmann (ANL, serving as past Spokesperson until end of 2023), Renée Hložek (Toronto, deputy), Rachel Mandelbaum (CMU), Pat Burchat (Stanford, deputy), Phil Marshall (SLAC), Eric Gawiser (Rutgers, deputy), Rachel Bean (Cornell), Jeff Newman (Pitt, deputy), Bhuvnesh Jain (U. Pennsylvania), Steve Kahn (SLAC), Gregory Dubois-Felsmann (IPAC, deputy) 

Working Groups, Topical Teams, and Task Forces

Working groups are the main organizational structure within DESC. The following diagram illustrates the overall working group structure, while the Coordinators and co-conveners for the working groups are listed below.

Diagram of overall DESC working group structure

Technical Working Groups

Coordinator: Keith Bechtol (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Computing and Simulations Working Groups

Coordinator: Nacho Sevilla (CIEMAT-Fisica de Particulas)

Analysis Working Groups

Coordinator: Gautham Narayan (UIUC)

Topical Teams

Topical teams are informally-defined groups that capture focused activity beyond the scope of a single project, within or across DESC working groups. Teams that have been broadly advertised within DESC are listed here:

Task Forces

Collaboration Council (CC)

As defined in the Governance Plan, the Collaboration Council represents the Full Members of the Collaboration, facilitates discussion of collaboration-wide issues, and has overall responsibility for LSST DESC policies and procedures.

Council members are elected for 2-year terms, with ten new members elected each year. Their current year is given in parentheses after their institution. The CC elects its own two co-chairs, each year.

Other internal collaboration structures and roles

Advisory Board

As defined in the Governance Plan, the members of the Advisory Board provide advice to and work with the management team to help define policy issues as they arise.

Data Facility Committee

Advises the Management Team on the development of the DESC Computing model, including data access, data processing at scale, data formats, interaction with the Rubin Science Platform, and available resources at the data facilities.

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committee

As described in the Governance Plan, the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Committee is charged by the Collaboration Council to proactively ensure that the collaboration is fostering an inclusive environment while promoting equity and diversity within the collaboration. The full charge, maintained by the Collaboration Council, can be found here.

Junior DESC Organization (JuDO)

JuDO works to represent and advance the interests of people in the DESC who have non-tenured, non-tenure-track, or equivalent non-permanent positions.

Meetings Committee

The Meetings Committee is convened by the Spokesperson to organize collaboration meetings and hack/sprint weeks. In addition to the members listed below, the meetings committee also includes temporary members from organizing committees for recent and upcoming meetings, on a rotating basis.

Membership Committee

As outlined in the Governance Plan, the Membership Committee implements the review of applications for new Members and Full Members, and for new Builders, as described in the Membership Policy and Builder Status Policy, respectively.

Mentoring Committee

The Mentoring Committee supports the mentoring of junior scientists in DESC, providing mentoring guidance and matching mentors and mentees.


As defined in the LSST DESC Professional Conduct Policies, the role of the Ombudspersons is to provide informal, confidential, nonjudgmental, impartial, and independent advice and arrange mediation for DESC members for the purposes of dispute resolution.

Publication Board

As outlined in the Governance Plan, the Publication Board oversees the logistics of the publication process for all DESC publications as outlined in the Publication Policy.

Speakers Bureau

As outlined in the Governance Plan, the Speakers Bureau is intended to be a resource to DESC members, adding value to presentations by Collaboration members and helping to improve the standing of the entire Collaboration. The specific roles and duties of the Speakers Bureau are defined in the Speakers Bureau Policy. The DESC Speakers Bureau welcomes requests from conference organizers for invited talks on behalf of the collaboration. More information how to request a speaker and details to provide in a request can be found here and the Speakers Bureau can be reached by email for any questions at

Operations committees and personnel

International Resources Committee

The purpose of DESC’s International Resources Committee (IRC) is to coordinate and formalize operations contributions from across DESC’s international partners.

Operations Committee

As mentioned in the Governance Plan and defined in more detail in the Operations Management Plan, the LSST DESC Operations Committee is responsible for determining and prioritizing LSST DESC’s immediate and future operations needs, recommending ways to implement the prioritized operations needs, and assessing the progress and performance of funded operations activities. It is convened by, and reports to, the DESC Spokesperson.

Operations Staff

The DESC Pipeline Scientists (PS) and Computing Infrastructure personnel (CI) are committed to development of the collaboration’s mission-critical software and datasets.


A set of active DESC members and external project leaders have agreed to serve as liaisons for DESC with key resources and precursor and concurrent surveys.

Rubin Observatory Project and Facility Operations

High-performance computing resources

Other projects