WASHINGTON — Marcia K. McNutt has been elected to a second term as president of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the Academy announced today. McNutt, the first woman to be elected president of the NAS, took office in 2016. Her new four-year term begins July 1, 2022.

As NAS president, McNutt is also chair of the National Research Council, the operating arm of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The National Academies advise the nation on issues pertaining to science, technology, and health.

Together with the presidents of the National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Medicine, McNutt has led the institution throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, spearheading the development of innovative new products and services such as rapid expert consultations that have enabled the delivery of timely, evidence-based advice on key pandemic-related issues.  The groundwork for these innovations was laid earlier in her first term, when McNutt oversaw a first-ever external review of the National Academies, sparking a transformation of the institution’s operations, products, and services and also serving as the basis for a recently adopted strategic plan.

In addition, under her leadership, the NAS developed its own Academy-specific strategic plan and the first Code of Conduct for NAS members, along with an amendment to the Academy bylaws to permit membership to be rescinded for violations of the code.  McNutt also championed reforms to the membership election process aimed at increasing diversity among NAS members.  Last year, for example, the NAS elected a record number of women and members of underrepresented minority groups.   McNutt has made diversity, equity, and inclusion a priority for the entire institution; in 2021, the National Academies created an Office of Diversity and Inclusion, which is charged with ensuring that these issues are considered across all of the National Academies’ projects and activities.

During her tenure, McNutt has overseen many key initiatives and landmark reports on critical issues such as climate change, sexual harassment in academia, research integrity and excellence, strategic science in times of crises, and science education. She also has stepped up efforts to communicate science to the public and combat misinformation.  As a leading voice and advocate on behalf of science, she has issued several public statements in defense of science and science-based decision-making. Most recently, for example, McNutt issued a statement (along with presidents of the National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Medicine) urging action on climate change ahead of the U.N.’s COP26 climate conference last fall.

McNutt commented on her reelection: “It has been the honor of my career to serve the science community and nation as president of the NAS. Together with the members, volunteers, and staff, we have made great strides in elevating our capacity to provide timely, relevant, evidence-based advice on critical issues facing society. However, there is much more we can still do to address climate change, public health, and sustainable use of resources, even as we fight misinformation/disinformation and inequality in opportunity. Tackling those issues will be of huge benefit to the overall scientific enterprise.”

McNutt continues to strengthen the Academy’s global science partnerships. Last year, the NAS partnered with the Nobel Foundation and other international science organizations to host the virtual Nobel Prize Summit “Our Planet, Our Future.”

Before becoming NAS president, McNutt was editor-in-chief of the Science family of journals, administrator of the U.S. Geological Survey during the Obama administration, president and chief executive officer of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, and the E.A. Griswold Professor of Geophysics and MIT director of the Joint Program in Oceanography/Applied Ocean Science and Engineering, a cooperative education program with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Election of NAS International Secretary and Councilors

John G. Hildebrand, Regents Professor in the department of neuroscience, College of Science, University of Arizona, has been reelected as international secretary.  Hildebrand will continue to be responsible for the international activities of the Academy during his third four-year term beginning July 1, 2022.

Councilors elected to three-year terms beginning July 1, 2022, are: Angela M. Gronenborn, UPMC Rosalind Franklin Professor and Chair, department of structural biology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; Andrea J. Liu, Hepburn Professor of Physics, department of physics and astronomy, University of Pennsylvania; David J. Meltzer, Henderson-Morrison Professor and director, QUEST Archaeological Research Program, department of anthropology, Southern Methodist University; and Gene E. Robinson, Maybelle Leland Swanlund Endowed Chair, professor of entomology, and director, Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit institution that was established under a congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It recognizes achievement in science by election to membership, and — with the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine — provides science, engineering, and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations.

Molly Galvin, Director, Executive Communications
Office of News and Public Information
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