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France A. Córdova Sworn In as NSF Director

Monday, March 31, 2014 - 13:39

Adapted from a National Science Foundation press release:

France A. Córdova was sworn in today as the 14th director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) for a six-year term. John Holdren, President Obama’s science advisor, will lead a special ceremony at NSF to mark the occasion on 2 April. Córdova was confirmed by the US Senate on 12 March 2014.

“I am deeply honored to lead this prestigious organization,” Córdova said. “I would like to thank and recognize Dr. Cora Marrett for her outstanding stewardship of the Foundation as acting NSF Director over the last year. I look forward to working with the Administration, Congress, the scientific community and NSF staff in advancing scientific discovery, technological innovation, and STEM education. I am especially eager to engage with the public on science and its importance to our nation’s prosperity and global leadership.”

Córdova is president emerita of Purdue University, where she served as president from 2007 to 2012. From 2002 to 2007, she led the University of California at Riverside as chancellor and was a distinguished professor of physics and astronomy. Previously, Córdova was the vice chancellor for research and professor of physics at the University of California at Santa Barbara from 1996 to 2002.

From 1993 to 1996, Córdova served as NASA’s chief scientist. She was on the faculty of the Pennsylvania State University and was head of the department of astronomy and astrophysics from 1989 to 1993. Córdova was deputy group leader in the Earth and space sciences division at Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1988 to 1989 and staff scientist from 1979 to 1989.

Most recently, Córdova served as chair of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution and as a member of the National Science Board, where she chaired the Committee on Strategy and Budget. She received a BA degree from Stanford University and a PhD from the California Institute of Technology.

Córdova was nominated by President Obama to become the NSF director on 31 July 2013, and re-nominated by the President on 6 January 2014. She succeeds Subra Suresh, who stepped down in March 2013.

As part of his remarks in nominating Córdova and others to key Administration posts last July, the President said, “The extraordinary dedication these individuals bring to their new roles will greatly serve the American people. I am grateful they have agreed to serve in this Administration and I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come.”

Richard Tresch Fienberg
Press Officer & Director of Communications
American Astronomical Society