Former Chancellor Sworn in as Head of National Science Foundation

France A. Córdova led the campus from 2002 to 2007

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France A. Córdova is the National Science Foundation’s 14th director. Photo by Sandy Schaeffer

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Former UC Riverside Chancellor France A. Córdova was sworn in on March 31, 2014 as the 14th director of the National Science Foundation (NSF). She was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 12, 2014 and will serve a six year term, succeeding Subra Suresh, who stepped down in March 2013.

“I am deeply honored to lead this prestigious organization,” Córdova said in a NSF press release. “I would like to thank and recognize Dr. Cora Marrett for her outstanding stewardship of the Foundation as acting NSF Director over the last year. I look forward to working with the Administration, Congress, the scientific community and NSF staff in advancing scientific discovery, technological innovation, and STEM education. I am especially eager to engage with the public on science and its importance to our nation’s prosperity and global leadership.”

Cordova was chancellor at UC Riverside from 2002 to 2007. She left UCR to become president of Purdue University, where she served from 2007 to 2012. She served as chair of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution and as a member of the National Science Board, where she chaired the Committee on Strategy and Budget.

As part of his remarks in nominating Córdova and others to key Administration posts last July, the President said, “The extraordinary dedication these individuals bring to their new roles will greatly serve the American people. I am grateful they have agreed to serve in this Administration and I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come.”

NSF’s annual budget is about $7.2 billion. The agency’s budget request for FY15 is $7.3 billion, which is an increase of 1 percent over the 2014 enacted level. NSF’s annual budget represents 24 percent of the total federal budget for basic research conducted at U.S. colleges and universities, and this share increases to 60 percent when medical research supported by the National Institutes of Health is excluded. In many fields, NSF is the primary source of federal academic support.

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