Obama Nominates New NSF Director
Obama Nominates New NSF Director
Obama Nominates New NSF Director

August 2013

On July 31, President Barack Obama nominated France Anne Córdova to be
the new director of the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Córdova served as president of Purdue University from 2007 to 2012. Prior to that, she was chancellor at the University of California–Riverside and was NASA’s first female chief scientist. An astrophysicist by training, she was a faculty member and department head for astronomy and astrophysics at Pennsylvania State University and a scientist in the Earth and Space Sciences Division at Los Alamos National

Cordova, who is the oldest of 12 children, graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in English. As a junior at Stanford, she spent a summer at an archeological dig near a Zapotec Indian pueblo in Oaxaca, Mexico, later writing a novel on the experience. While pursuing doctoral studies, she worked as a journalist and editor at the Los Angeles Times news service. In 1979, she received a doctorate in physics from the California Institute of Technology.

Pending confirmation by the Senate, she would replace Subra Suresh, who resigned as director in March to become president of Carnegie Mellon University. Cora Marrett, NSF deputy director, is currently serving as acting director. Marrett, a sociologist, was NSF's first assistant director for social, behavioral, and economic sciences and also served as assistant director for education and human resources. 

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