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Former Sigma Xi President Geri Richmond Tabbed for Top Department of Energy Position

May 25, 2021


President Biden has nominated physical chemist Geraldine "Geri" Richmond to be the Department of Energy’s under secretary for science. Richmond previously served as the president of Sigma Xi in 2019-2020 and the president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2015. Pending her Senate confirmation, she will oversee both the Office of Science and DOE’s applied R&D programs. Accordingly, the department has indicated it will reinstate the lengthier title of “under secretary for science and energy” as it was originally configured during President Obama's second term.

Throughout her esteemed career, Richmond has intertwined the fields of chemistry and physics, focusing on understanding the molecular characteristics of water surfaces, studies that have relevance to environmental issues such as oil remediation, atmospheric chemistry and alternative energy sources. She has been an advocate of diversity and inclusion in the workforce through extensive outreach efforts in science communication. In 1998 she co-founded the grass-roots organization COACh that has helped over 25,000 women scientists and engineers in career advancement in the U.S. and over two dozen developing countries.

Richmond currently serves as the presidential chair in science and professor of chemistry at the University of Oregon. In addition to her many leaderships roles she has won several top scientific awards throughout her career, highlighted by the National Medal of Science, awarded to her by President Obama in 2013.