NSB News Release

President Trump appoints UT-El Paso President to the National Science Board

Former congresswoman and Air Force Secretary brings array of experiences

University of Texas at El Paso President Heather Wilson will serve on the NSB
for six years.

Heather Wilson (Credit and Larger Version)

May 28, 2020

The University of Texas at El Paso President Heather Wilson has been appointed to serve for six years on the National Science Foundation’s policy making National Science Board (NSB).

“Heather Wilson is a great addition to the National Science Board,” said Ellen Ochoa, NSB Chair. “Her unique perspective and range of experience promise to be of great service to the work of the Board and the agency.”    

Dr. Heather Wilson became President of The University of Texas at El Paso in 2019 after serving as Secretary of the United States Air Force. She is the former president of the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, an engineering and science research university in Rapid City, South Dakota. Dr. Wilson served in the United States Congress for 10 years, representing New Mexico’s 1st congressional district. The granddaughter of immigrants, Dr. Wilson was the first person in her family to go to college. She graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in the third class to admit women and earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in international relations from Oxford University in England as a Rhodes Scholar.

“This is a great honor for me and for The University of Texas at El Paso,” Wilson said. “I look forward to advancing U.S. science and engineering and helping to implement the National Science Board’s Vision 2030 to develop future scientists and engineers, especially from groups who are traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields.”

The White House has announced the intent to appoint several other members to the NSB:  Sudarsanam Babu, University of Tennessee; Aaron Dominguez, Catholic University; and Dario Gil, IBM Research.

President Trump also announced his intention to reappoint Roger Beachy, Professor Emeritus of Biology, Washington University, to serve a second six-year term. Together with Wilson, these members will serve on the NSB until May of 2026. Two additional appointment announcements are expected later this year.


About the National Science Board

The National Science Board and the National Science Foundation's Director jointly head NSF. NSB identifies issues critical to NSF's future and establishes the agency’s policies within the framework of applicable national policies set forth by the President and the Congress. The Board also serves as an independent body of advisors to both the President and the Congress on policy matters related to science and engineering and education in science and engineering. NSB’s 24 members are appointed by the President for six-year terms and selected for their eminence in research, education and records of distinguished service. 


About The University of Texas at El Paso

The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) enrolls more than 25,000 students in 166 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs in 10 colleges and schools. With more than $100 million in total annual research expenditures, UTEP is ranked in the top 5% of research institutions nationally and fourth in Texas for federal research expenditures at public universities, after UT Austin, Texas A&M and the University of Houston. UTEP is one of the largest and most successful Hispanic-serving institutions in the country, with a student body that is over 80% Hispanic. 


Media Contacts

Nadine Lymn, National Science Board, (703) 292-2490, nlymn@nsf.gov

Jenn Crawford, The University of Texas at El Paso, (312) 919-6218, jwcrawford@utep.edu

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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