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News Release 11-108

Cora Marrett Confirmed as NSF Deputy Director

Photo of Cora Marrett.

Dr. Cora B. Marrett was confirmed to be the NSF Deputy Director by the U.S. Senate on May 26, 2011.

June 1, 2011

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

Editor's Note: On June 22, 2011, Cora Marrett was sworn in by NSF Director Subra Suresh at the agency's Arlington offices.

Dr. Marrett was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on May 26 to serve as Deputy Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF). She is the 12th deputy of the foundation. Marrett was nominated for the NSF deputy director position by President Obama on August 5, 2010, and then re-nominated in the new Congress on January 5, 2011. 

"Dr. Marrett is a familiar leader at the agency, and her continued commitment to NSF's mission makes her well suited for this role," said NSF Director Subra Suresh. "The agency will truly benefit from her years of experience at both the federal and university levels." 

Marrett has served as the senior advisor for Foundation Affairs since February 2011. She served as NSF acting director when Arden L. Bement resigned in June 2010, and before Suresh was confirmed as NSF director in October. 

Previously, Marrett served as the assistant director for NSF's education and human resources (EHR) directorate from 2007-2009. While there, she led the directorate to support NSF's mission to achieve excellence in U.S. science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education at all levels and in both formal and informal settings.

From 1992-1996, Marrett served as NSF's assistant director for social, behavioral and economic sciences (SBE).  For her leadership in developing new research programs and articulating the scientific projects of this new directorate, Marrett received NSF's Distinguished Service Award. 

Prior to returning to NSF in 2007, Marrett served as the University of Wisconsin's senior vice president for academic affairs for six years. Before that, she served as senior vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst for four years.

Marrett holds a bachelor of arts degree from Virginia Union University, and master of arts and doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, all in sociology. She received an honorary doctorate from Virginia Union University in May 2011.  She received an honorary doctorate from Wake Forest University in 1996, and was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1998, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1996. 


Media Contacts
Dana Topousis, NSF, (703) 292-7750, email:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2021 budget of $8.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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