Dr. Stella Kafka, is the Executive Director and CEO of the AAVSO* (American Association of Variable Star Observers), an international organization focusing on engaging professional and amateur astronomers in science. Within the auspices of the AAVSO, Dr Kafka is working towards enabling individuals from all backgrounds to actively participate in research projects, building a community of science-savvy citizens who work collectively to understand some of the most dynamic phenomena in the universe. Dr Kafka acquired her BSc in Physics from the University of Athens (Greece) and her MA/PhD in Astronomy from Indiana University (USA). Before her tenure at the AAVSO, Dr Kafka held positions at CTIO, Spitzer Science Center/Caltech, Carnegie Institution of Washington/DTM and AIP Publishing. Her research focuses on exploring the properties of semi-detached binary star systems.