Professor Levy came to Rice University in 2000, and was appointed to the Howard R. Hughes Chair as Provost of the University and Professor of Physics and Astronomy.
Professor Levy received an A.B. in Physics from Rutgers University in 1966, and a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Chicago in 1971. After stints as a Fellow of the Center for Theoretical Physics at the University of Maryland and with the Bartol Research Institute, Professor Levy joined the University of Arizona in 1975, where he held appointments as Professor of Planetary Science and Professor of Physics. From 1983 to 1994, he served as Head of the Planetary Sciences Department and Director of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, and subsequently, from 1993 to 2000, he served as Dean of the College of Science. At the University of Arizona, Professor Levy was also a member of the faculties of the Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Astrophysics Programs; in 1989, he established the NASA/Arizona Space Grant College Consortium, and served as its director for eleven years.
Professor Levy held a NASA Pre-doctoral Fellowship at the University of Chicago, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi at Rutgers. In 1983, he was awarded the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, and from 1985 to 1991 he held an appointment as Distinguished Visiting Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the California Institute of Technology. In 1989, Professor Levy received, in Germany, an Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung Senior Scientist Award. At the University of Arizona, Professor Levy received a Martin Luther King, Jr. Distinguished Leadership Award in 1996, and in 1999 he was the inaugural recipient of the Hispanic Alumni Association Outstanding Administrator Award.
Professor Levy has served in numerous scientific consulting and policy advisory positions at the national and international levels, including as a member of the Space Science Board (SSB) of the National Academy of Sciences, and as a member (1976-78) and Chair (1978-82) of the SSB Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration (COMPLEX). He also served on the NASA Solar System Exploration Committee (1980-83), and the Solar System Exploration Management Council (1983-85). He was a member of the Space Science Board Committee on "Major Directions for Space Science, 1995-2015" (1984-86), and the NASA Space and Earth Sciences Advisory Committee (1985-88); he chaired the Comet Rendezvous Asteroid Flyby Review Panel (1986), and was a member of the Mars Exploration Strategy Advisory Group, and the Mars Rover Sample Return Science Working Group (1986-89). He was a member of the U.S. Delegation of the U.S.-Soviet Joint Working Group on Near-Earth Space, the Moon, and Planets (1981), and served as Head of the U.S. Delegation and Co-Chair of the Joint Working Group on U.S.-European Cooperation in Planetary Exploration under the joint auspices of the National Academy of Sciences and the European Science Foundation (1982-84). He was a member of the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment Study Panel on Renewing US-Soviet Cooperation in Space Science (1984), Chair of the SSB Advisory Committee on International Cooperation for Mars Sample Return (1986-88), and Co-Chair of the Planetary Exploration Group at the Pacific-Rim Nations International Space Year Conference (1987). Professor Levy served on the Planetary Systems Science Working Group (1988-1992), the Lunar and Planetary Geophysics Review Panel (1988-90), the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Cooperation with the USSR on Planetary Sciences (1988-89), the Astronomy and Astrophysics Survey Committee Panel on Science Opportunities (1989-90), the NASA Origins of Planetary Systems Review Panel (1990-91), and the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment Study Panel on Robotic Exploration of the Moon and Mars (1991). He also served as Chair of the Council of Institutions (1991-92) as well as Member and Vice Chair of the Board of Directors.