Dr. Luis Echegoyen
Former NSF Program Director then a Division Director for the Division of Chemistry
I was initially a rotator at the NSF early in my career, and it proved to be one of the best professional decisions that I have ever made; as a learning experience and as a networking opportunity. I liked it so much that years later I returned as Division Director for Chemistry, a somewhat different experience that was not only extremely interesting and informative but also very rewarding. The NSF is a highly professional organization and the interactions with colleagues inside as well as with the external scientific community are dynamic and highly productive. At the end, you work very hard at the NSF because you feel that you're making a difference, for yourself and for the community that you serve. While doing NSF work you are also able to keep your research work going at your home institution, since the Foundation is very sensitive about providing every opportunity for you to do so. My group's research productivity during my NSF tenure was truly remarkable, contrary to all the fatalistic predictions from many of my colleagues. I wish that everyone had an opportunity to serve as a rotator at the NSF, it would educate and sensitize people about how difficult it is to make decisions when funds are scarce. It is not easy!