U.S. Rep. Rush D. Holt

1999 John P. McGovern Science and Society Award

A Princeton University physicist, Rush Holt inherited his interest in politics from his parents. His father was the youngest person, at age 29, ever to be elected to the Senate. His mother served as Secretary of State of West Virginia, the only woman to hold that position. Congressman Holt received his B.A. in physics from Carleton College and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at New York University. He has been a teacher, Congressional Scientist Fellow, research scientist and an arms control expert for the U.S. State Department. He has conducted research on solar wind and received a patent for a solar energy device. From 1989 until he began his 1998 Congressional campaign, Holt was assistant director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, where he created an award-winning office of science education. He was co-chair of the Princeton University Sigma Xi Chapter's successful Science Advisor Program. In addition, Holt has served in the U.S. State Department as acting chief of the nuclear and scientific division within the Office of Strategic Forces Analysis, where his responsibilities included participating in the Geneva arms control talks. He has also been a professor of physics at Swarthmore College.