Appointment of Renee Crain as Acting Section Head for NSF Office of Polar Programs Arctic Sciences Section
July 7, 2021
Ms. Renee Crain is serving as the acting Section Head for the Arctic Sciences Section at the US National Science Foundation. She is a program manager for the Arctic Research Support & Logistics program and the Arctic Research & Policy program. She is on the leadership team for the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee, chairs the interagency Community Resilience Working Group, and serves on numerous committees within NSF.
Ms. Crain brings more than 20 years of experience supporting research and science education in the Arctic to the position. Ms. Crain leads the Section’s efforts in developing program policies, health and safety risk management, environmental stewardship, tribal engagement and oversees two program budgets. She has expanded partnerships with other US agencies and international organizations to benefit research, education, and outreach. Ms. Crain received two NSF Director’s awards for developing the Section’s investments in science education during International Polar Year 2007-2009 and Climate Change Education in 2011. Ms. Crain served on detail to the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President as Policy Adviser and Executive Secretary of the Arctic Executive Steering Committee, and she led the organization of the first Arctic Science Ministerial held at the White House in 2016. She served as the Acting Director of the Arctic Research Program at the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration on detail for six months in 2019. While at NOAA, Ms. Crain led efforts in strategic planning and developing collaborations across NOAA on Arctic research. Ms. Crain served as Acting Section Head for Polar Environment Safety & Health at NSF September 2019-May 2020. She focused on improving communication and processes and served on the leadership team preventing the introduction of COVID-19 into communities and research stations in the polar regions while enabling fieldwork and operations to continue.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from New College, the Honors College of Florida, and a master’s degree in biology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Her research in avian neuroendocrinology focused on physiological and behavioral adaptations in Arctic birds. Ms. Crain expanded her leadership training through the Federal Executive Institute, NSF’s Executive Leadership Program, and Harvard Kennedy School’s Executive Education program.
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.