News Release

White House Announces New Appointees to the National Science Board

NSB Members Class of 2026

Newly appointed NSB members from left to right: Babu, Beachy, Dominguez, Gil, Huff (Credit and Larger Version)

July 20, 2020

President Donald Trump has appointed new members to the National Science Board (NSB). NSB is the governing body of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and advises Congress and the Administration on issues in science and engineering. 

Sudarsanam Suresh Babu (University of Tennessee/Oak Ridge National Laboratory), Aaron Dominguez (Catholic University of America), Darío Gil (IBM), and Melvyn Huff (University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth), are new appointees to the 24-member National Science Board and will serve a six-year term. Roger Beachy (Washington University in St. Louis) is re-appointed to serve a second six-year term on the Board.

“Our new members bring varied experiences and new perspectives that will be valuable as the Board implements the roadmap from our recent Vision 2030,” said Board Chair Ellen Ochoa. “I’m very pleased to welcome them to the National Science Board and excited to work with them on building partnerships that will help us develop the nation’s STEM talent and deliver benefits from research.”

Sudarsanam Suresh Babu is the Governor’s Chair of Advanced Manufacturing at the University of Tennessee and the director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education. He serves jointly in this role for the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. He also serves at the Energy and Environmental Sciences directorate of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, within the Energy and Transportation division. He held technical lead roles within the manufacturing institutes and centers, and enabled research and education on lightweight metals manufacturing, 3-D printing, and composites. Babu is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the ASM International, and the American Welding Society.

Aaron Dominguez is Provost and Professor of Physics at the Catholic University of America. He has researched the use of particle colliders to make new discoveries in physics, including the recently discovered Higgs boson, and is an expert in instrumentation — designing, building, and using silicon charged particle trackers as precision tools to reconstruct the complicated interactions taking place in particle collisions. In 2005, he was the recipient of the NSF CAREER award and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. 

Darío Gil is the Director of IBM Research and leads innovation efforts at the company. Under his leadership, IBM was the first to build programmable quantum computers and make them universally available through the cloud. He is a passionate advocate of collaborative models of innovation, and co-chairs the Massachusetts Institute of Technology-IBM Watson AI Lab, which advances fundamental AI research to the broad benefit of industry and society. He also co-chairs the COVID-19 High-Performance Computing Consortium. He is a trustee of the New York Hall of Science and served as a member of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).

Melvyn Huff is a lecturer at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. He has worked in private industry for many corporations, including MathSoft PTC and Scientific Systems, and past teaching positions include Tufts and Harvard Universities.  He has developed new methods of teaching basic and advanced calculus with a central focus on individual contact with students. His publications have covered various aspects of confidence measure, synthetic aperture radar, and data tracking. He is a member of the American Mathematical Society.

Roger Beachy, Professor Emeritus of Biology at Washington University in St. Louis, will serve a second six-year term on the NSB. During his previous term, Beachy chaired the NSB’s Committee on Strategy, which guides the Board’s strategic discussions of NSF’s budget, programs, organization structure and agency vision. Beachy also chaired NSB’s Vision 2030 Task Force, which led the Board’s recently released Vision 2030 report.

Also with the class of 2026, Heather Wilson (University of Texas at El Paso) was appointed in May 2020. The remaining two NSB appointments are 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

Alison Gillespie, National Science Board,; 703-292-2557

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 2020 budget of $8.3 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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