By Adelina Voutchkova-Kostal, Director, Office of Sustainability & Green Chemistry Institute, American Chemical Society
Over the last two decades, the GCI has been able to tap into diverse, expert advice from professionals in the green chemistry field across academia, industry, and government through its Advisory Board. The members give their time voluntarily for the benefit of the community and meet twice a year in person to discuss the strategic vision as well as the current and pending activities of the institute. Given the critical environmental challenges facing our society and the timely opportunity for chemists to re-iterate their key role in tackling them, the role of the GCI Board is particularly pivotal. It is for this reason that I believe it is important that our engaged community meet our board members, and get to know their unique perspectives, shaped by their diverse professional and personal experiences. In particular, here I would like to introduce you to our new Board Chair, Kate Beers, and our newest member, who is no stranger to our community, John Warner. In subsequent Nexus issues, you will have a chance to learn more about all the GCI Board members, and you can also meet them at the GC&E conference just around the corner (June 12-15) in Long Beach, CA. Please check out the conference highlights in this article by Sederra Ross. We are looking forward to seeing you all there!
Lastly, I want to invite you to reach out to me if you are interested in serving on our Board!
As the Manager of the Circular Chemistry Program at NIST, Kate brings extensive expertise not only as a highly accomplished chemist specializing in circular polymers, sustainable materials, and degradable and renewable polymeric materials but also in science policy. Kate served as Assistant Director for Physical Sciences and Engineering in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy during the Bush administration. During her time there, on loan from NIST, she recalls encountering a huge learning curve. However, her ability to grasp the big picture was recognized in her further career trajectory at NIST, as well as in her now serving as Chair of the Interagency Working Group on Sustainable Chemistry. Kate’s understanding of the intersection between government, industry, and academia puts her in an excellent position to serve as GCI Board Chair for the next three years.
Many of you will know the name Dr. John Warner, who is widely recognized as being one of the earliest founders and proponents of green chemistry. Together with Paul Anastas, John Warner co-authored the seminal book "Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice," which introduced the design principles of green chemistry to many early adopters and now celebrates 25 years of changing the way chemists conceptualize chemistry. Today, John leads the John Warner Foundation, which has the ambitious goal of changing the way we do, invent, and manage chemistry. A prolific entrepreneur and inventor, John works to design and create commercial technologies inspired by nature and consistent with the principles of green chemistry. With over 300 patents, he has invented solutions for dozens of multinational corporations. His inventions have also served as the basis for several new companies. Examples include collaborative medicinal Development (ALS therapy), Hairprint (hair color restoration), Collaborative Aggregates (asphalt warm mix rejuvenators), and Ambient Photonics (lowlight indoor photovoltaic devices for IoT and BIPV). John has published extensively in the fields of noncovalent derivatization, polymer photochemistry, metal oxide semiconductors, and synthetic organic chemistry. Recognition for his work has included the Perkins Medal in 2014 and being nominated as a Fellow of the American Chemical Society in 2011, among many others. He serves as a Distinguished Professor of Green Chemistry at Monash University in Australia and the Global Chair for the Center for Sustainable and Circular Technologies at the University of Bath. In 2017 the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Technical University of Berlin named "The John Warner Center for Green Chemistry Start-Ups" in his honor.
You can meet both John and Kate at the GC&E conference in June!
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