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Press Release: France Córdova announced Senior Science Advisor at Science Philanthropy Alliance [Alliance News]


Palo Alto, California – May 5, 2020 – The Science Philanthropy Alliance (the Alliance) welcomes France A. Córdova, Ph.D., as senior science advisor.

In March, Dr. Cordova concluded a six-year term as director of the National Science Foundation. At NSF, she oversaw a pivot in strategy to spotlight big ideas with potentially transformative return on investment, including areas that touched on quantum mechanics, big data, the rules of life, artificial intelligence, multi-messenger astronomy, changes in the Arctic, and other areas on the forefront of scientific research.

France Córdova’s contributions in multi-spectrum research on x-ray and gamma ray sources and space-borne instrumentation have made her an internationally recognized astrophysicist.

Her distinguished career in science, engineering, and higher education spans more than three decades.

Córdova is president emerita of Purdue University, chancellor emerita of the University of California, Riverside, and was vice chancellor for research and professor of physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has published more than 150 scientific papers and was honored as a Kilby Laureate, recognized for “significant contributions to society through science, technology, innovation, invention, and education.”

As the first woman and youngest person to serve as NASA’s chief scientist, Córdova represented NASA to the larger scientific community and infused the activities of the agency— including the International Space Station, then under construction—with the scientific goals of the broader community. She was awarded the agency’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal.

Córdova also served as chair of the board of regents at the Smithsonian Institution and on the board of trustees of Mayo Clinic. She is the recipient of numerous honorary degrees and awards, including most recently the Kennedy-Lemass medal of Ireland.

“We are privileged to have Dr. Córdova join our team, particularly now during the COVID-19 crisis. Her experience in government and her academic and scientific leadership will help our members and the philanthropists we advise navigate the rapidly changing scientific landscape,” said Valerie Conn, president of the Alliance.

Córdova joins a team of senior science advisors at the Science Philanthropy Alliance. This team of esteemed scientist-leaders provide advice and guidance for philanthropists who wish to support fundamental research.

The mission of Science Philanthropy Alliance is to increase private support for basic scientific research by providing advice and learning opportunities for funders. By building a community of funders, the Alliance has emerged as the leading resource for basic science philanthropy, playing a critical role influencing new funds to support basic scientific knowledge—knowledge that is essential to the improvement of human health and welfare.

For more information, contact Julie Kohrt at jkohrt@sciphil.org.

Click here for the announcement PDF.