President appoints ORNL employee to National Science Board

Image courtesy Oak Ridge National Laboratory

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.

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.

ORNL said Theodore is leader of the 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 US 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;
  • Served as a research scientist and technical adviser/coordinator for the educational task of the Minority Leaders Program at Universal Technology Corporation co-located at Air Force Research Laboratory Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, helping to foster historically black colleges and universities and Hispanic university minority students’ graduate engineering degrees; other
  • held a research faculty position at Georgia Tech.

Theodore has authored more than 30 open literature publications, holds multiple US 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 US 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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