Abhay Ashtekar is the Evan Pugh Professor of Physics and holder of the Eberly Chair at Penn State, and of a Distinguished Visiting Chair at the Perimeter Institute, Canada. He has authored or co-authored over 285 scientific papers and written or (co-)edited 9 scientific books on general relativity, cosmology and quantum gravity. His research has advanced our understanding of the asymptotic structure of space-time, gravitational waves in full non-linear general relativity, `atomic' structure of space-time geometry at the Planck scale, and the quantum nature of black holes and big bang. His reformulation of general relativity as gauge a theory has led to loop quantum gravity, an approach to the unification of general relativity and quantum physics that is now being pursued in dozens of research groups world wide. He has continued to play a seminal role in the development of this field as well as its sub-field called loop quantum cosmology.
Ashtekar is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and a winner of the Einstein Prize of the American Physical Society, given biannually for outstanding contributions to gravitational science. He is also one of only 51 Honorary Fellows of the Indian Academy of Sciences drawn from the community of scientists living outside of India. He was awarded the senior Forschungspreis by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and held the Krammers Visiting Chair in Theoretical Physics at the University of Utrecht, Netherlands; a Senior Visiting Fellowship of the British Science and Engineering Research Council; and the Sir C. V. Raman Chair of the Indian Academy of Science. He was awarded Doctor Rerum Naturalium Honoris Causa by the Friedrich-Schiller Universitaet, Jena, Germany in 2005 and by the Universite' de Aix-Marseille II, France in 2010. He is a past President of the International Society for General Relativity and Gravitation, and a past Chair of the Division of Gravitational Physics of the American Physical Society. He served as Editor in Chief of the General Relativity Centennial volume, commissioned by the International Society on General Relativity and Gravitation, and also several international journals in the field. As the Founding Director, he led the Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos from 1993 to 2021. He serves on the Advisory Board of the Archimedes Foundation to Promote Sciences, Innovations, Education and Environment; Saint Raphaël, Cote de Azure, France.