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NSF 09-069

Dear Colleague Letter: NSF Division of Chemistry Director Search

This document has been archived.

September 24, 2009

Dear Colleagues:

In anticipation of the August 2010 completion of my four years of service as Director of the NSF's Chemistry Division, the Foundation has initiated a search for my replacement.  The Division Director (DD) leads a diverse team of 30 staff (including 20 Ph.D.s) responsible for the merit review of over 1600 proposals annually and also managing the resulting award portfolio totaling over $200M/yr.  A strong candidate must be able to communicate effectively with the Chemistry community and also to represent our community by strongly articulating our accomplishments and advocating for our needs.  These activities are informed by our Division's "Strategic Directions" document, which evolves continuously.  Other information about the Division is available at our web site. 

Key traits for a successful Chemistry Division Director include a deep and broad understanding of chemistry, outstanding leadership and managerial ability, skill at fostering partnerships and coordination with other scientific organizations (both domestic and international), and a demonstrated ability to develop and implement an organizational vision which leverages diversity.  Employment may be on a temporary or permanent basis in the Federal Service or by temporary assignment under provisions of the Intergovernmental Personnel Act.  All options include support for travel and time needed to allow the holders to maintain active research programs at their home institutions.  We are especially interested in identifying candidates from underrepresented groups, including women, members of minority groups, and persons with disabilities.

This executive search is being conducted by Dr. Edward Seidel, the Acting NSF Assistant Director who oversees the Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) Directorate.  The four chemists who serve on the MPS Advisory Committee have agreed to assist Dr. Seidel in identifying suitable candidates.  They are:  Professor Hector Abruna, Professor Barbara Finlayson-Pitts, Professor Sharon Neal and Professor Joseph DeSimone.  Nominations (including self-nominations) can be addressed to any of these individuals.  Additional information about the position, including a description of the application process, is available in the position announcement.  Note that separate searches are on-going for a Director of the Division of Materials Research (DMR) and an Assistant Director for MPS.

Your assistance in identifying outstanding applicants for the next NSF Chemistry Division Director is very much appreciated.  If you have questions, feel free to contact either me or Janice Hicks, Executive Officer, Division of Chemistry.



Dr. Luis Echegoyen, Director
Division of Chemistry


Position description and information about how to apply:
Document Number: s20090107

Information about NSF Chemistry and staff contacts:
Janice Hicks:

Division of Chemistry Strategic Directions:

MPS Advisory Committee chemists and contact information:  (in your emails, please use subject line “CHE DD search”)
Professor Hector Abruna (
Professor Barbara Finlayson-Pitts (
Professor Sharon Neal (
Professor Joe deSimone (

Information about rotational programs:

If you are a person with a disability who may need accommodations in the application process, please contact Lindsey Boswell at