France Córdova, Director, National Science Foundation
with Ross Andersen, Senior Editor, The Atlantic
France A. Córdova, was sworn in as director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) on March 31, 2014. Nominated by President Barack Obama to head the $7.2-billion independent federal agency, she was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 12. Córdova leads the only government science agency charged with advancing all fields of scientific discovery, technological innovation, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. NSF's programs and initiatives keep the United States at the forefront of science and engineering, empower future generations of scientists and engineers, and foster U.S. prosperity and global leadership.
Córdova is president emerita of Purdue University, where she served as president from 2007 to 2012. From 2002 to 2007, she led the University of California, Riverside, as chancellor and was a distinguished professor of physics and astronomy. Córdova was the vice chancellor for research and professor of physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, from 1996 to 2002.