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Rayvon Fouché to lead NSF’s Social and Economic Sciences Division

Portrait of Rayvon Fouché against a gray background.

NSF welcomes science and technology studies researcher and educator Rayvon Fouché.

February 1, 2022

Rayvon Fouché has been selected to lead the National Science Foundation’s Social and Economic Sciences Division where he will oversee more than a dozen research programs focused on society and the economy. He will serve as division director through NSF’s rotator program which recruits U.S. scientists, engineers and educators for limited-term leadership positions of up to four years.

As a professor at Purdue University and director of its American studies program, Fouché’s research focuses on the nature of invention and technological innovation in the U.S. He has written several books including “Game Changer: The Technoscientific Revolution in Sports,” which explores the impacts of technological and scientific advances on athletes and competitive sports. Fouché earned his doctoral and master’s degrees in science and technology studies from Cornell University.

“As a leader in the scientific community, Dr. Fouché brings a wealth of experience in managing and conducting fundamental research,” says acting NSF Assistant Director for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Kellina Craig-Henderson. “Through his scholarship and teaching, he has helped others understand how scientific theory and innovation profoundly impact the world in which we all live.”

“I’m honored to join the impressive and dedicated community at the National Science Foundation,” says Fouché. “The research supported by NSF’s Social and Economic Sciences Division exemplifies the transformative value of fundamental science and I look forward to participating collaboratively in its continued development.”

Fouché begins his NSF appointment on February 28, 2022 and succeeds outgoing division director Daniel Goroff, who led the Social and Economic Sciences Division from 2019 to 2021. The division supports both disciplinary and interdisciplinary programs along with large-scale scientific surveys such as the national Panel Study of Income Dynamics. More than 70% of the researchers who have won the Nobel Prize in economic sciences received support from the division.

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 2022 budget of $8.8 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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