Geraldine Richmond Named President-Elect of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

 Geraldine Richmond, the Presidential Chair and professor of chemistry at the University of Oregon, has been chosen to serve as president-elect of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Richmond will begin her three-year term as an officer and member of the Executive Committee of the AAS Board of Directors on Feb. 19 at the close of the 180th Annual Meeting in Chicago.

“The impact of Dr. Richmond’s work can be seen on this campus and around the world,” said Kimberly Andrews Espy, vice president for research and innovation and dean of the UO Graduate School. “For her, research is a means of discovery and of training and of cultivating the scientists of tomorrow. Her passion for scientific research, teaching, and international engagement makes her an ideal choice to serve as the president-elect of the world’s largest general scientific society. We congratulate her on this tremendous honor.”

Richmond received her Ph.D. in chemical physics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1980. She is a distinguished researcher in the field of surface chemistry of complex surfaces and interfaces, a discipline with relevance to environmental remediation, energy production and atmospheric chemistry. She has served on several national scientific advisory boards, including the U.S. Secretary of Energy’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Advisory Committee and her current appointment to the National Science Board.

In her candidate statement, submitted after being nominated for president-elect, Richmond said she planned to work with the AAAS’s members, officers and directors toward a common goal of assuring the health and vitality of the scientific enterprise around the world. She spoke of the importance of scientific diplomacy and international collaborations and the unique global role played by the AAAS, as well as the need to continue to advocate for science funding and to assure a strong, diverse, motivated and inclusive scientific workforce.

Richmond currently serves as the UO’s Presidential Chair in science. She delivered the UO's Presidential Research Lecture last May, in which she discussed the essential properties of water – everything from the way water and oil interact to the ways in which water sustains life.

In addition to her service to the National Science Board and the University of Oregon, Richmond served on the Oregon State Board of Higher Education, the statutory governing board of the Oregon University System and its seven universities, from 1999-2006. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Physical Society (APS) Davisson-Germer Prize for Atomic or Surface Physics, the American Chemical Society (ACS) Charles L. Parsons Award, and was inducted into the National Academy of Sciences.

Richmond also is the founder and chair of COACh, an organization created to increase the number and career success of women scientists and engineers both in the U.S. and in developing countries. COACh provides training workshops, mentoring and networking activities and support to recruit and retain women for careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Richmond received an AAAS fellowship in 2003 and is one of 36 current or retired UO faculty members who have been recognized as AAAS fellows by their peers for meritorious efforts to advance science or its applications. Most recently, in November 2013, the UO’s J. Josh Snodgrass, a biological anthropologist, and Tom H. Stevens, a biochemist, were named fellows. They will be formally presented with official certificates and gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pins during the AAAS annual meeting in February.

At the close of the 2014 Annual Meeting, Richmond will begin her term as president-elect and Gerald Fink will begin his term as AAAS president. Fink is a professor of genetics and founding member of the Whitehead Institute at MIT. The current president, Phillip A. Sharp, will become chairman of the AAAS Board of Directors. Sharp is a 1983 Nobel Prize winner and professor at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT.

Founded in 1848, AAAS is the world's largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journals Science, Science Translational Medicine and Science Signaling.

The full election results can be viewed at http://bit.ly/1evhmJ5.