News Release

White House Announces New Appointees to National Science Board

November 8, 2018

President Donald Trump has announced his intent to appoint five new members and to re-appoint two former members to the National Science Board (NSB). NSB is the policymaking body of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and advises Congress and the Administration on issues in science and engineering. 

Maureen Condic (University of Utah), Suresh Garimella (Purdue University), Steven Leath (Auburn University), Alan Stern (Southwest Research Institute), and Stephen Willard (Cellphire, Inc.) are new appointees to the 25-member National Science Board, which counts NSF’s director as an ex-officio member. Geraldine “Geri” Richmond (University of Oregon) and Maria Zuber (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) will be reappointed to each serve a second six-year term.

“We are excited to welcome this diverse group of scientists, administrators, and inventors to the National Science Board,” said Diane Souvaine, NSB Chair. “We’re grateful to the Administration—in particular the Office of Science and Technology Policy—for working hard to assemble this fantastic group of individuals. Their collective expertise and wealth of experiences, insights, and dedication to public service, will be a boon to NSF and to the nation’s science and engineering enterprise.”

Maureen Condic is an Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy at the University of Utah’s School of Medicine. Her research focuses on the development and regeneration of the nervous system. In recognition of her research on spinal cord repair and regeneration, Condic was named a McKnight Neuroscience of Brain Disorders Investigator in 2002. She has published and presented seminars on science policy and bioethics, both nationally and internationally.

Suresh Garimella is the Goodson Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships at Purdue University.  His research interests include energy efficiency in electronics and renewable energy systems technology. Dr. Garimella served for six years as a Senior Fellow in the U.S. State Department’s Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas. Among other honors, Dr. Garimella was named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors in 2017.

Steven Leath is president of Auburn University, a position he has held since June 2017. He previously served as president of Iowa State University. Trained in plant pathology, Dr. Leath’s previous positions include serving as vice president for research and sponsored programs for the University of North Carolina System, director of the North Carolina Agricultural Research Service, and associate dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Dr. Leath began his career as an extension plant pathologist at the University of Illinois, Urbana.

Alan Stern is a planetary scientist and an Associate Vice President and Special Assistant to the President at the Southwest Research Institute. He leads the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s New Horizons mission to the Pluto system and the Kuiper Belt.  Dr. Stern is also an aerospace consultant, CEO of two small corporations, and serves as chief scientist of both World View and the Florida Space Institute. Among other honors, he holds Smithsonian Magazine’s 2015 American Ingenuity Award.

Stephen Willard is CEO of Cellphire, a biotechnology company. Established in 2006, the company aims to apply its proprietary cell stabilization technology to health care solutions, particularly in blood supply markets. Mr. Willard serves on the Health Advisory Board of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Prior to Cellphire, he served in leadership positions at Flamel Technologies and Biovail Corporation International.

During her previous service to the NSB, Geri Richmond chaired the NSB’s Committee on National Science and Engineering Policy. Maria Zuber previously served as the NSB’s Chair from 2016 - 2018 and led its congressional engagement initiatives.

An appointment for the last remaining Board vacancy is anticipated in the coming months.


About the National Science Board

The NSB and NSF’s Director jointly head the agency. The Board identifies issues critical to NSF's future and establishes its policies. The NSB also provides the President and Congress with Science and Engineering Indicators, a biennial report on U.S. progress in science and technology. Members are appointed by the President for six-year terms and are selected for their eminence in research, education and records of distinguished service.


Media Contact

Nadine Lymn, National Science Board, (703) 292-2490,

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 2023 budget of $9.5 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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