John H. Gibbons
Duke University, 2000-2001
Now a senior fellow at the National Academy of Engineering, John Gibbons is a former Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, charged with providing access to authoritative information and expert scientific, engineering and technological advice for the President, federal officials and Congress, and with coordinating science and technological policy throughout the federal government. Gibbons co-chaired the President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) and managed the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). He received his bachelor's degree in mathematics and chemistry from Randolph-Macon College and his Ph.D. in physics from Duke University. He then spent the next 15 years at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and in the late '60s pioneered studies on how to use technology to conserve energy and minimize the environmental impacts of energy production and conservation. In 1973 he was appointed the first director of the federal Office of Energy Conservation and two years later returned to Tennessee to direct the University of Tennessee Energy, Environment and Resources Center. In 1979 he returned to Washington to direct the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment until his Presidential appointment on February 2, 1993. His honors include the Federation of American Scientists Public Service Award, the AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Prize, the Leo Szilard Award for Physics in the Public Interest from the American Physical Society, and medals from the German and French governments for fostering scientific cooperation. Gibbons is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of AAAS, a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He was elected to Sigma Xi in 1953 by the Duke University Chapter.