Born on October 22, 1952 in Hassan, Karnataka, Shri A. S. Kiran Kumar is the Chairman, Space Commission since January 14, 2015. Besides, he also holds the offices of Secretary, Department of Space and Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation.

Shri Kiran Kumar obtained his Physics Honours Degree from National College, Bangalore in 1971, M.Sc. Electronics from Bangalore University in 1973 and M.Tech. Degree in Physical Engineering with distinction from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore in 1975.

He is responsible for the implementation of the applications oriented Indian Space Programme, which has facilitated rapid development of the country in many important spheres. In this pursuit, he is steering the development of satellites and related technologies for earth observation, communication, navigation, meteorology and space science, as well as the development of indigenous launch vehicles and related technologies for providing assured access to space. Shri Kiran Kumar commendably held several techno-managerial positions in ISRO during his career which began in 1975. In his capacity as Associate Director and subsequently, Director of Space applications Centre, Ahmedabad, he has steered the design and development of microwave, communication, navigation payloads and their application activities.

He has contributed to the design and development of more than 50 Electro-Optical Imaging Sensors flown on Spaceborne platforms starting from Bhaskara TV payload in1979 to the payloads onboard the Mars Orbiter Mission in 2013. He has been instrumental in evolving the earth observation strategy of ISRO encompassing Land, Ocean and Atmosphere. He has been responsible for i) development of 3-tier imaging system for IRS-1C to Resourcesat-2 spacecrafts which enabled monitoring vegetation, snow and glacier, water resources, coastal zone and disaster, ii) ocean colour instruments using push broom technology catering to Potential Fishery Zone forecast, iii) high resolution along track stereo imaging system of Cartosat-1 leading to realisation of Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of the country, iv) sub-meter resolution optical imaging sensors for Technology Experiment Satellite and Cartosat-2 series for cartographic applications, v) GEO based meteorological payloads (2-Channel and 3-Channel Very High Resolution Radiometer for INSAT-2 series, Kalpana-1 and INSAT-3A) and vi) 6-Channel Imager and 19-Channel Sounder instruments for INSAT-3D catering to weather monitoring and forecasting.

He has played a crucial role in Chandrayaan-1 mission right from the conceptualization stage and has made exemplary contributions to the success of Mars Orbiter Mission.

Shri Kiran Kumar has been the Chair of the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) in 2012. He has made valuable contributions in Coordination Group of Meteorological Satellites (CGMS), Expert Team on Satellite Systems - World Meteorological Organisation (ETSAT of WMO) and Indo-US Joint Working Group on Civil Space Cooperation.

Shri Kiran Kumar is a Fellow of Indian National Academy of Engineering, Indian Society of Remote Sensing, Institution of Electronics & Telecommunications Engineers, Indian Meteorological Society, Gujarat Science Academy and Andhra Pradesh Akademi of Sciences and an elected member of International Academy of Astronautics. He has been conferred with Honoris Causa by Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Anantpur, Tumkur University, SRM University, VelTech University, Hindustan University, Gitam University, Amity University, KIIT University, Kaziranga University, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University and Indus University.

In recognition of his contributions, he was conferred Padma Shri award by the President of India in 2014. He is the recipient of Laurels for Team achievement Award of International Academy of Astronautics in 2008 and 2013. ISROs Individual Service Award in 2006 and Performance Excellence Award in 2008 Bhaskara Award of Indian Society of Remote Sensing in 2007, Astronautical Society of India Award for Space Science and Applications in 2001 and VASVIK Award for Electronics Sciences and Technology in 1988.

The Government of Karnataka honoured him with Rajyostava Award for the year 2015 for his contribution to space science & technology and Sir M. Visvesvaraya Senior Scientist State Award for the year 2013. He is the recipient of IISc Distinguished Alumnus Award for the year 2015, Gujarat Ratna `Life for Innovation Award conferred by Gujarat Innovation Society in 2014 and Lifetime Achievement Award by AP Akademi of Sciences in 2016.

He has co-authored more than 76 technical papers in Journals/Symposia /Conferences.