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Maurizio Balistreri Named CFO at Planetary Science Institute

Jan. 3, 2022


Maurizio “Maui” Balistreri

Tucson-based Planetary Science Institute has promoted Maurizio “Maui” Balistreri to the position of Chief Financial Officer. Balistreri was originally hired in 2012 as PSI’s Controller and then transitioned into the Chief Operating Officer as the company continued to grow and evolve. PSI’s annual revenues have more than doubled in the past 10 years to more than $15 million. Approximately 95% of PSI’s funding is derived from research grants and solar system mission contracts originating from The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). 

Balistreri, a CPA and a Tucson native, received his Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management. Balistreri started his professional career as an auditor with a local public accounting firm, where PSI was one of his clients. Balistreri later became the Corporate Controller for one of the largest home healthcare providers in Arizona, until unexpectedly crossing paths with PSI years later. 

 “I received a phone call from PSI’s CFO one evening, with whom I hadn’t talked in several years. We met for dinner the following week to discuss a career opportunity that paved the way for the current transition,” said Balistreri. PSI was expanding their financial staff and infrastructure to accommodate the relentless growth they were experiencing. Having unique insight of PSI’s business operation as a former external auditor, Balistreri recalled PSI having a remarkable track record for maintaining a sound financial operation.  “Having a solid foundation to accommodate business growth is critical for sustainability, “Balistreri said. “The idea of being a part of a growing company has always excited me, but knowing PSI was also well positioned to handle the growth was equally important. I’m truly grateful for the opportunity to serve as CFO for such an amazing organization.” 

“PSI operates not only on the cutting edge of solar system exploration, but also as a business innovator,” said Mark Sykes, PSI’s Director and CEO. “Maui has played a critical leadership role in our continuing development as a business, improving our efficiency and developing tools for our scientists and educators to better manage our great diversity of projects, while maintaining strict regulatory compliance. As CFO, Maui will be an essential partner in PSI’s continuing success.” 

The Planetary Science Institute will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2022. It is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated to Solar System exploration. 

PSI scientists are involved in numerous NASA and international missions, the study of Mars and other planets, the Moon, asteroids, comets, interplanetary dust, impact physics, the origin of the Solar System, extra-solar planet formation, dynamics, the rise of life, and other areas of research. They conduct fieldwork on all continents around the world. They also are actively involved in science education and public outreach through school programs, children’s books, popular science books and art. 

PSI scientists are based in 30 states and the District of Columbia, and work from various locations around the world.



Alan Fischer

Public Information Officer


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