Note: This story was updated at 2 p.m. Jan. 22.
President Joe Biden will appoint Merlin Theodore of Oak Ridge National Laboratory to the National Science Board, the White House said in an announcement last week.
Theodore is the first full-time researcher from a national laboratory to serve on the National Science Board, the governing board for the National Science Foundation, according to ORNL.
“Merlin’s appointment to the National Science Board is indicative of her accomplishments as a researcher, her contributions to national missions, and her advocacy for women and minorities in science,” said interim ORNL Director Jeff Smith.
Theodore is one of eight new board members. The National Science Board is made up of 25 members appointed by the president, and they serve six-year terms.
The National Science Board pursues the goals and function of the NSF, including the duty to “recommend and encourage the pursuit of national policies for the promotion of research and education in science and engineering,” according to the White House news release.
ORNL said Theodore is leader of its Advanced Fibers Manufacturing group and director of the Materials and Processing Technology Area for the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, or IACMI.
“She directs material research efforts and works with industry to enhance U.S. competitiveness in advanced manufacturing,” ORNL said.
Theodore also has a joint appointment with the University of Tennessee.
The White House said Theodore has served in several key leadership positions supporting government agencies, industry, and academia.
In previous roles, she:
- was the head of excellence at SGL Automotive Carbon Fiber LLC in Moses Lake, Washington;
- worked at Universal Technology Corporation, co-located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, where she served on the research staff and as technical advisor and coordinator for the minority leaders program; and
- held a research faculty position at Georgia Tech.
Theodore has authored more than 30 open literature publications, holds multiple U.S. patents, and has received numerous awards, the White House said.
She has served by invitation on scientific and technical review panels, women in science panels, and committees.
A native of St. Croix U.S. Virgin Islands, Theodore received a doctoral degree in material science and engineering, a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, and an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from Tuskegee University.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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