NSB News Release

The National Science Board Gains Eight New Members

2023 Appointees (left to right, top to bottom): Deborah Loewenberg Ball, Vicki L. Chandler, Dorota A. Grejner-Brzezinska, Marvi Ann Matos Rodriguez, Keivan G. Stassun, Merlin Theodore, Wanda Elaine Ward, Bevlee A. Watford

2023 Appointees (Credit and Larger Version)

January 19, 2023

President Joe Biden has appointed eight new members to the National Science Board. This new cohort brings the Board to full capacity with 24 members.

“We are thrilled to welcome all eight members to the Board,” said Daniel Reed, Chair of the National Science Board. “They will be vital to ensuring the Board is able to shape and carry out its mission to govern the National Science Foundation and advise Congress and the Administration on science and engineering issues.”

The new members are:

  • Deborah Loewenberg Ball
  • Vicki Chandler
  • Dorota Grejner-Brzezinska
  • Marvi Matos Rodriguez
  • Keivan Stassun
  • Merlin Theodore
  • Wanda Ward
  • Bevlee Watford, P.E.

The White House announced the selection on January 13, 2023.


About the new cohort

The eight new members bring diverse expertise and experiences to the Board.

“I am delighted that President Biden has appointed these world-class scientific and engineering leaders to the National Science Board,” Arati Prabhakar, Office of Science and Technology Policy Director and Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, said in a statement. “I am especially proud that the President’s appointments will make this the most diverse National Science Board in history, working to deliver results for every American,” Prabhakar said.

Brief biographies:

Deborah Loewenberg Ball is the William H. Payne Collegiate Professor of Education at the University of Michigan, an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, a Research Professor in the Institute for Social Research, and the Director of TeachingWorks. She taught elementary school for more than 15 years and continues to teach children every summer. Dr. Ball holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Teacher Education and a M.S. in French and Elementary Education from Michigan State University.

Vicki L. Chandler is a Provost at Minerva University. She was a postdoctoral fellow in genetics at Stanford University, received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California San Francisco, and a B.A. in Biochemistry from the University of California Berkeley. She has conducted pioneering research on the control of gene expression in plants and animals.

Dorota A. Grejner-Brzezinska is a Distinguished University Professor, Lowber B. Strange Endowed Chair and Professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering at The Ohio State University. She is the Vice President for Knowledge Enterprise in The Ohio State University Enterprise for Research, Innovation and Knowledge. She is also a co-Director of the Satellite Positioning and Inertial Navigation Laboratory. Dr. Brzezinska holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Geodetic Science from The Ohio State University, and an M.S. in Surveying Engineering and Land Management Systems from the University of Warmia and Mazury, Poland.

Marvi Ann Matos Rodriguez works as the Director of Boeing’s Engineering, Mobility & Surveillance P-8 Air Vehicle Integrated Product Team. She completed a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering and a M.S. in Colloids, Polymers and Surfaces at Carnegie Mellon University and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico. In 2023, Dr. Rodriguez plans to complete an executive MBA at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Keivan G. Stassun holds the Stevenson chair in Physics & Astronomy at Vanderbilt University, where he also serves as Director of the Frist Center for Autism & Innovation. Dr. Stassun holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in Astronomy and an A.B. in Physics and Astronomy from the University of California at Berkeley.

Merlin Theodore is a group leader for the Advanced Fibers Manufacturing Group in the Manufacturing Science Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. She guides material research efforts at two Department of Energy National User Facilities, the Carbon Fiber Technology Facility and the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility. She is the first full time researcher from a national laboratory to serve on the National Science Board. Dr. Theodore received a Ph.D. in Material Science & Engineering from Tuskegee University. 

Wanda Elaine Ward is Executive Associate Chancellor for the Office of the Chancellor – Public Engagement at the University of Illinois Urbana- Champaign. She oversees Public Engagement and Community and Government Relations. Ward earned a Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University and a B.A. in psychology and with an Afro-American Studies Certificate from Princeton University.

Bevlee A. Watford is a Professor of Engineering Education, Associate Dean for Equity and Engagement, and the Founding Executive Director of the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity for the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech. She received her B.S. in Mining Engineering, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from Virginia Tech.


About the National Science Board

The National Science Board establishes policies for the National Science Foundation. In this capacity, the Board identifies critical issues that will impact the agency’s future, approves strategic budget directions and annual budget submissions to the Office of Management and Budget, and approves new major programs and awards.

The Board also serves as an independent body of advisors to both the President and the Congress on science and engineering policy matters, as well as related education issues.

The Board is made up of 24 Members appointed by the President, plus the National Science Foundation Director who serves as an ex officio member.  Members serve six-year terms.

“It is a delight to be able to work with this outstanding group of board members to expand the frontiers of science, technology and innovation as we continue to advance NSF’s mission of promoting discovery and innovation for economic and societal benefit,” said National Science Foundation Director Sethuraman Panchanathan.


Media Contact

Elizabeth Jeffers, National Science Board; ejeffers@nsf.gov

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.

Useful NSB Web Sites:

Home Page: http://www.nsf.gov/nsb
Media Contact: http://www.nsf.gov/staff/staff_bio.jsp?lan=nlymn&org=NSF
News: http://www.nsf.gov/nsb/news
Meetings: http://www.nsf.gov/nsb/meetings
Publications: http://www.nsf.gov/nsb/publications
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NationalScienceBoard
Twitter: Twitter: https://twitter.com/intent/user?screen_name=NSF_NSB
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkrHRzuGSrPp2haQs0T_Pww

To view PDF documents, please download Adobe Acrobat Reader.