Dr France A. Córdova
Director, National Science Foundation (US)
Dr France A Córdova is an astrophysicist and director of the National Science Foundation in the US (NSF), the only government agency charged with advancing all fields of scientific discovery, technological innovation, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. NSF is a $7.5bn independent federal agency.
Córdova was the first woman to become chief scientist of NASA, and is a recipient of NASA’s highest honour, the Distinguished Service Medal. She was also recognised as a Kilby Laureate for her “significant contributions to society through science, technology, innovation, invention and education”.
Córdova was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is a national associate of the National Academies. She is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Association for Women in Science. She is president emerita of Purdue University, and chancellor emerita of the University of California, Riverside, where she was a distinguished professor of physics and astronomy. She was also the vice-chancellor for research and professor of physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. As NSF director, she is an ex officio member of the National Science Board.
Image: Stephen Voss/NSF