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Obama appoints Lepage to National Science Board

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Syl Kacapyr


President Barack Obama announced Nov. 16 that he will appoint G. Peter Lepage, the Harold Tanner Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, to the National Science Board.

"I am honored that these talented individuals have decided to join this administration and serve our country," Obama said in a news release announcing seven intended appointments by his administration. "I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come."

The board serves as the governing body of the National Science Foundation and is composed of policy advisers to the president and Congress. Among their duties, board members recommend national policies that promote research and education in science and engineering.

"It is a privilege to be given the responsibility and opportunity to have an impact on the future of the National Science Foundation," Lepage said.

Lepage has been a professor of physics at Cornell since 1980 and chaired the Department of Physics from 1999 until his appointment as dean in 2003.

While leading the College of Arts and Sciences, he has maintained a research program in quantum physics, developing numerical simulation techniques to study quantum chromodynamics -- the fundamental theory of quarks and gluons that describes the internal structure of protons, neutrons and other subnuclear particles.

Lepage co-chaired a recent study on postsecondary science education for the President's Council of Advisors in Science and Technology, a group of scientists and engineers who advise the Executive Office of the President. He is also a member of the Technical Advisory Committee for the Association of American Universities' Undergraduate STEM Education Initiative.

"A very healthy and well-run NSF is critical to the nation and critical for Cornell in fulfilling our research and education missions," Senior Vice Provost for Research Robert Buhrman said, noting that President Emeritus Frank H.T. Rhodes; Robert Richardson, the F.R. Newman Professor of Physics; and John Hopcroft, the IBM Professor of Engineering and Applied Mathematics, are among the leaders from Cornell to have served on the board.

"Having someone like Peter on there, who is a very sound leader, research administrator, academic leader and a topnotch scientist, is a very good development. Certainly the board will benefit from his broad perspectives and thoughtful judgment," Buhrman said.


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