Abhay Ashtekar is the founding Director of the Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos and holds the Eberly Chair in physics at Penn State. His research interests include general relativity, cosmology, loop quantum gravity, and the interface of geometry and physics. He is a past President of the International Society for General Relativity and Gravitation. He won the Senior Forschungspreis of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. He has held the Krammers Visiting Chair in Theoretical Physics at the University of Utrecht and the Sir C. V. Raman Chair of the Indian Academy of Science. He was awarded an honorary Ph.D. by the Friedrich-Schiller Universität Jena and by the Université de Aix-Marseille II.