Distinguished & Honorary Members
John C. Mather, 2016 Honorary Member
The most distinguished of all OSA Member categories, Honorary Membership is awarded to those who have made unique, seminal contributions to the field of optics.
The Presidential Advisory Committee provides the OSA Board of Directors with a candidate recommendation each year (in rare cases more than one candidate may be brought forward in a calendar year). The election of Honorary Members requires a unanimous vote of the Board of Directors. OSA Members may submit recommendations for Honorary Members to the Presidential Advisory Committee by 1 March each year.
The roster of living Honorary Members demonstrates the high distinction of this membership category: Arthur Ashkin, Steven Chu, Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, Roy J. Glauber, James P. Gordon, Theodor W. Haensch, John L. Hall, Herwig Kogelnik, John C. Mather, William D. Phillips, Charles H. Townes and Emil Wolf. Learn more about the OSA Honorary Members and the nomination process.
OSA Honorary Members receive a complimentary lifetime membership and the full range of OSA Individual Member Benefits, along with special recognition of their distinguished status and complimentary member subscriptions to all OSA journals of their choice. Honorary Members are also eligible to vote in the annual election for OSA Vice President and Directors at Large.
OSA Members who have served with distinction in the advancement of optics and photonics may be proposed for election to the class of Fellow. The number of Fellows is limited by the Society's bylaws to be no more than 10% of the total OSA Membership and the number elected each year is limited to approximately 0.5% of the current membership total.
Candidates for Fellow Membership are nominated by current OSA Fellow members. The OSA Fellow Members Committee reviews each nomination and recommends candidates to the Board of Directors annually.
OSA Senior Membership provides well-established individuals with the opportunity to request a designation that recognizes their experience and professional accomplishments or service within the optics and photonics field.
To qualify for Senior Membership, individuals should have at least 10 years of significant professional experience since the time of their highest degree and be an active OSA Member.*