ORG NCSA Title BIO John Towns is Director of the Persistent Infrastructure Directorate at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois. He is also PI and Project Director for the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) project. Towns plays significant roles in the deployment and operation of high-end resources, and Grid-related projects and is PI also on awards for various resources operated at NCSA. His background is in computational astrophysics utilizing a variety of computational architectures with a focus on application performance analysis. At NCSA, he provides leadership and direction in the support of an array of computational science and engineering research projects making use of advanced computing resources. He earned M.S. degrees in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Illinois and a B.S in Physics from the University of Missouri Rolla.