David Shoemaker is the Director of the MIT LIGO Lab and the Leader of the Advanced LIGO Project to build the detectors used in the discovery of gravitational waves. Shoemaker started out as a lab technician at MIT in the mid-70s, but after joining Rai Weiss’s lab he worked on the first definitive measurement of the Cosmic Microwave Background spectrum. Shoemaker then turned to the field of gravitational-wave detection, helping to advance the measurement technology. After working in Garching, Germany at the Max Planck Institut Quantenoptik, and in Orsay, France at the Université de Paris, he returned to MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts and worked on the Initial LIGO detectors before taking on the effort to realize the second generation of detectors. Shoemaker is now working to enable 3rd-generation approaches to yet better sensitivity, and supporting efforts to put gravitational-wave detectors in space.