October 01, 2015
John C. Nemeth has been named interim executive director of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society. He began his duties October 1, 2015 at the Society's administrative offices.
Subsequent to a very successful environmental consulting career, Nemeth was at Georgia Tech for 15 years, within the Georgia Tech Research Institute where he: 1) directed the Environmental Science and Technology Laboratory with research emphasis on detection and management of toxic materials and prevention of environmental and occupational exposures; 2) served on the senior staff of the GTRI $100 million per year enterprise responsible for strategic planning, business development, institute operations; and he managed the GTRI state appropriations process; and 3) was also jointly appointed as professor in three Schools teaching and serving on graduate committees.
In 1998, Nemeth became the vice president of Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), the largest science- and technology-based university consortium in the US. He developed ORAU’s University Partnerships enterprise into a consortium consisting of 122 campuses, including 99 major research institutions, over fifty of which had medical schools and health-related centers. He worked routinely with presidents, vice presidents for research and academic affairs, deans, and most importantly young faculty, and became quite experienced in a broad array of public and private university administrative and business development processes.
Throughout all phases of his career, Nemeth has worked on projects with a myriad of State and Federal governmental agencies and private companies, as well as professional organizations. He has had a long run of successful funding.
Having retired from ORAU in 2009, he is currently the president of Education and Research Consulting: CGJC Enterprises and Associates. He continues to offer services to universities here and abroad, scores of Federal and State agencies and departments, and numerous firms in private industry. Active in many professional organizations such as AAAS, National Association of Environmental Professionals, the Scientists and Engineers for America, he was a member of the National Academies’ Committee that authored “Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation,” and he is currently working on an NIH-SWAM project focused on graduate STEM education dynamics of women and minorities. He was also a Fellow of The George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute.
Nemeth holds a PhD and MS from North Carolina State University and a BS from Appalachian State University. In the early years, he taught high school biology and chemistry and coached football and track and field.
“Sigma Xi holds special spaces in my career as a scientist," said Nemeth. "First, when at the induction banquet at the North Carolina State University Chapter in 1971, I had the sense, as a first in my family to go to college, much less attain the PhD, of having made an important achievement—having earned membership in the fraternity of scientists. I was so proud. The feeling has never left. Over ensuing decades, extensive travel prevented my deep involvement, but I have remained affiliated through Georgia Tech and more recently Virginia Tech. Sigma Xi has been my 'NPR' of science,” said Nemeth. "Being asked to assume this position, with an opportunity to help my profession and indulge my passion for science, is a singular career honor for me.”
Having chosen to become more involved in Society affairs, he recently served a full term on the Sigma Xi Committee on Nominations, representing the Mid-Atlantic Region. Nemeth vows that his efforts will center on attracting young members, invigorating the more mature membership, promoting the growth and activity of all our Chapters, and helping to assure long-lived relevance of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society.