Secretary, CRDF Global Board of Directors; President Emeritus, New York Academy of Sciences
Rodney W. Nichols, President and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences from 1992 to 2001, was previously Scholar-in-Residence at the Carnegie Corporation of New York (1990-1992), and Vice President and Executive Vice President of The Rockefeller University (1970-1990).
Earlier he served as an R&D manager in industry and in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. A Harvard graduate and applied physicist, he has held major responsibilities for strategic plans and research budgets, facilities and construction, public affairs and fund-raising, and university-industry relations, including negotiations on intellectual property. Co-author of two books and scores of papers, he has frequently lectured before corporate, academic, and governmental groups on: research and development trends; international scientific cooperation and competition; and K-12 education for economic growth. He was an invited speaker at the U.S.-Japan “Innovation Summit” (Nogoya 10/05), India’s “R&D-2005” (New Delhi 11/05), and IIT Symposium (Washington, DC 2006).
Mr. Nichols has led projects conducted in China, Japan, India, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. He is on the Board of Advisors to Foreign Affairs, and co-chaired the Japan-U.S. Cooperative Science Program of the National Science Foundation. Mr. Nichols served on U.S. government delegations to the UN for negotiations on arms control, on technology transfer, and on capacity-building in developing countries.
Appointed to the Executive Committee of the Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology, and Government (1989-1994), Mr. Nichols was principal author of the Commission’s January 1992 report entitled Science and Technology in U.S. International Affairs. He also was vice chair to former President Jimmy Carter for the Commission’s December 1992 report on Partnerships for Global Development. He co-authored chapters on “Science and Technology in North America” for UNESCO’s biennial World Science Report (1994, 1996, and 1998), prepared the entry on “Science and Technology” for Oxford’s Encyclopedia of U.S. Foreign Relations (1997), and chaired a research project of the Council on Foreign Relations on Technology Policy in Managing Global Warming (2001). He is on the editorial board of Technology in Society: An International Journal, and contributed two chapters on S&T in “Mapping the New World of American Philanthropy,” Wiley, 2007.
Mr. Nichols has advised the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; State, Defense, and Energy Departments; the NIH; NSF; the UN; Congressional Office of Technology Assessment; Senate; and National Academies of Science and Engineering. He has given Congressional testimony on both civilian and defense R&D. His industrial consulting has included the research laboratory of GTE and Shell Technology Ventures. He also chairs the non-profit India-U.S. Science and Technology Partnerships, with an office at Smithsonian in Washington, DC.
He currently serves on The Rockefeller University Council, and on the boards of the Research Foundation of the City University of New York, Eugene Lang College of New School University, Manhattan Institute, Marshall Institute, ALS Association, American Council on Science and Health, and Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths. He was a founding judge on the selection panel for the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute’s Women in Science Award, and served on the 2005-07 National Innovation Initiative of the Council on Competitiveness, jury for the $500k MIT-Lemmelson Technology Prize. Earlier he served on the boards of the American University of Beirut, Christopher Reeve Foundation, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, and the Critical Technologies Institute (RAND). He is a consultant to the Lounsbery Foundation, the Simons Foundation, Changing Our World, Inc, other non-profit initiatives, and the private sector Gerson Lehrman Policy Council.
Elected a Fellow of the AAAS and of the New York Academy of Sciences, Mr. Nichols is a member of the American Physical Society. He was elected to the Council on Foreign Relations, Sigma Xi, and World Innovation Foundation. He was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Distinguished and Meritorious Civilian Service (1970), the Distinguished Patriot Award of the Sons of the Revolution (1996), and an honorary Doctor of Science by Cedar Crest College (2001). He is a member of the Harvard Club, Century Association, and Cosmos Club.