Geraldine Richmond

Dr. Geraldine Richmond confirmed and sworn in as Under Secretary for Science at the Department of Energy

Dr. Geraldine Richmond has been sworn in to serve as the Under Secretary of Science at the U.S. Department of Energy. President Biden announced her nomination in April 2021 and she was confirmed by a Senate voice vote. Dr. Richmond was most recently the Presidential Chair in Science and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oregon. Dr. Richmond's research focuses on understanding the molecular characteristics of water surfaces. Her studies have relevance to environmental issues such as oil remediation, atmospheric chemistry and alternative energy sources. Her teaching and extensive outreach efforts have focused on science communication and building a strong and inclusive workforce. Her honors and awards include the National Medal of Science from President Obama (2016), the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring from President Clinton (1997) and the American Chemical Society’s highest honor, the Priestley Medal (2018). Dr. Richmond is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Chemical Society, the American Physical Society and the Association for Women in Science. Richmond has served in many leadership roles throughout her career including as Chair of the Department of Energy’s Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (1998-2003), as U.S. Science Envoy to the Lower Mekong River Countries of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Burma and Thailand (2015-2016) and as President of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2015) and Sigma Xi, the Honorary Scientific Research Society (2019-2020). She was appointed to the National Science Board by President Obama (2012-2018) and reappointed by President Trump (2018-present). Richmond is the Founding Director of COACh (1998-present), a grass-roots organization that has helped over 25,000 women scientists and engineers in career advancement in the U.S. and over two dozen developing countries. A native of Kansas, Richmond received her B.S. in chemistry from Kansas State University in 1975 and her Ph.D. in physical chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley in 1980.


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