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Interim head of the Office of Polar Programs appointed 

John B. Hunt
The National Science Foundation (NSF) named John B. Hunt to serve as the Acting Director for the Office of Polar Programs (OPP). On 8 September 1997, Hunt assumed the post, which had formerly been held by Cornelius W. Sullivan.

Before becoming Acting Director of OPP, Hunt served as Acting Assistant Director for the Directorate of Mathematics and Physical Sciences (MPS) at NSF and, before that, had served in several other positions in MPS, beginning with Executive Officer of the Division of Chemistry and advancing to positions of increasing responsibilty within the directorate.

Before joining the NSF Chemistry Division in 1983 as a visiting scientist, Hunt was Professor of Chemistry at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he had been on the faculty since 1962. At Catholic University, his research dealt primarily with mechanisms of reactions of transition metal complexes. Following a sabbatical in the early 1970s at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), however, he turned his attention to metal ion-protein interactions. His other affiliations have included

  • consultant to the Electrochemistry Division of the Naval Ordnance Laboratory in the area of fused salt batteries;
  • consultant to the Red Cross Blood Services Laboratory on research related to blood platelets;
  • member of the Board of Directors of the Marine Science Consortium at Wallops Island, Virginia, where he also taught courses in chemical oceanography; and
  • member of the Strategic Advisory Committee of the Council for Chemical Research.
Hunt received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Tulane University in 1955. He earned a masters degree in inorganic chemistry from Georgetown University in 1960 and a doctorate in inorganic chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1962. Hunt also served as an officer in the U.S. Navy for four years, two years aboard the USS Iowa and two years teaching chemistry at the U.S. Naval Academy.

At NSF/OPP, Hunt may be reached by electronic mail at, by phone at (703) 306-1030, and by fax at (703) 306-0645.