Dr. Chris Mattmann is an experienced Senior Executive, has filled multiple C-Suite roles including Chief Technology Officer, Chief Data Officer, and Chief Research Officer across multiple industries and is Division Manager of the Artificial Intelligence, Analytics and Innovative Development Organization in the Information Technology and Solutions Directorate at NASA JPL. At JPL Mattmann is the Chief Technology and Innovation Officer and reports to the CIO. He manages advanced IT research and open source and technology evaluation and user infusion capabilities. 

Mattmann is JPL’s first Principal Scientist in the area of Data Science. The designation of Principal is awarded to recognize sustained outstanding individual contributions in advancing scientific or technical knowledge, or advancing the implementation of technical and engineering practices on projects, programs, or the Institution. He has over 23 years of experience at JPL and has conceived, realized and delivered the architecture for the next generation of reusable science data processing systems for NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory, NPP Sounder PEATE, and the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) Earth science missions. Mattmann’s work has been funded by NASA, DARPA, DHS, NSF, NIH, NLM and by private industry and commercial partnerships. He was the first Vice President (VP) of Apache OODT, the first NASA project at the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) and he led the project’s transition from JPL to the ASF.


He contributes to open source and was a member of the Board of Directors at the Apache Software Foundation (2013-18) and was one of the initial contributors to Apache Nutch as a member of its project management committee, the predecessor to Apache Hadoop. Mattmann is the progenitor of the Apache Tika framework, the digital “babel fish” and widely used content analysis and data analytics framework. Mattmann contributes to TensorFlow, Google’s machine learning platform and has recently finished a book on Machine Learning for TensorFlow, 2nd edition published by Manning Publications. Mattmann is an expert in Artificial Intelligence.


Mattmann is the Director of the Information Retrieval & Data Science (IRDS) group at USC and Adjunct Research Professor (“Full Professor”). He teaches and has incepted graduate courses in Data Science, Web Search Engines & Information Retrieval. Mattmann has materially contributed to understanding of the Deep Web and Dark Web through the DARPA MEMEX project. Mattmann’s work helped uncover the Panama Papers scandal which won the Pulitzer Prize in Journalism in 2017.

Career Highlights
and International Recognition

Professional Experience

2001 – 2023, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology (NASA JPL)

  • CTIO and Division Manager, Artificial Intelligence, Analytics and Innovative Development Organization, 2020 – present
  • Deputy CTIO, Office of the CIO, 2017 – 2020
  • Principal Data Scientist, Engineering & Science Directorate, 2016 – 2017
  • Chief Architect, Instrument and Science Data Systems Section, 2014 – 2016
  • Principal Data Scientist, 2014
  • Member of Technical Staff, 2001 – 2014

2007 – present, University of Southern California

  • Director, Information Retrieval & Data Science (IRDS) group, 2014 – present
  • Adjunct Research Professor, 2020-present
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, 2013 – 2020
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, 2007 – 2013


  • Public Policy Executive Certificate, Harvard Kennedy School (2023)
  • Ph.D., Computer Science, University of Southern California (2007)
  • M.S., Computer Science (Multimedia & Creative Technologies), University of Southern California (2003)
  • B.S., Computer Science, University of Southern California  (2001)

Research Interests

Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Cybersecurity,  Information Retrieval, Automation, Search Engines, Open Source, IoT, Quantum Computing, Distributed Computing, Software Architectures.

Selected Awards

  • LA Business Journal 40 Thriving in their 40s, 2022.
  • JPL Team Award, USC Capstone Partnership – JPL/USC, Instrument Software and Science Data Systems, 2016.
  • JPL Bonus Award, Outstanding Individual Contribution, Instrument Software and Science Data Systems, 2014.
  • Ticke’s Notable Scientists List twitter.com/ticckle/lists/notable-scientists, 2014.
  • NASA Group Achievement Award, Early Detection and Research Network (EDRN), 2011.
  • SoftArtisans 30 Hadoop and Big Data Spelunkers Worth Following List bit.ly/vEUQre, 2011.
  • JPL Mariner Award, Outstanding Individual Contribution, Instrument Software and Science Data Systems, 2011.
  • West Federal Labs Consortium Outstanding Partnership Award, NASA ARRA Water Resource Management Project, 2011.
  • First NASA Member of the Apache Software Foundation (ASF), 2010.
  • NASA Team Award, Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO), 2009.
  • NASA Group Achievement Award, Planetary Data System (PDS), 2008.
  • NASA Software Reuse WG Peer-Recognition Award (OODT CAS), October 2008.
  • NASA Space Act Award (OODT CAS), September 2008.
  • NASA Team Bonus Award, Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) mission, September 2008.
  • NASA Tech Briefs Award (OODT CAS), October 2007.
  • NASA Group Achievement Award, Planetary Data System (PDS), October 2007.
  • NASA Group Achievement Award, Object Oriented Data Technology (OODT) project, October 2007.

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