Under Secretary for Science
Eva J. Pell is Under Secretary for Science. She oversees the operations of the National Museum of Natural History; the National Air and Space Museum; the National Zoo and its Conservation and Research Center in Front Royal, Va.; the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Mass.; the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, Md.; the Smithsonian’s Museum Conservation Institute in Suitland, Md.; and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama.
Pell was senior vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School at Pennsylvania State University.
Pell has an environmental science background and a strong track record of leadership. She was a professor in the department of plant pathology at Penn State for more than 35 years. In her role as senior vice president for research at the university, Pell spearheaded the development of cross-disciplinary institutes for life sciences, materials, energy and environment, social sciences, cyber science, and arts and humanities; all six institutes reported directly to her.
She was also responsible for sponsored research, compliance and the university’s animal research center. In addition, Pell was responsible for the Penn State Research and Technology Transfer Organization, which connects Penn State researchers with industries in order to stimulate economic development. The university has recognized her contributions by naming a new building after her, the “Eva J. Pell Laboratory for Advance Biological Research.”
As dean of the Graduate School, she oversaw graduate admissions, fellowships, awards and curriculum. Pell developed several programs at Penn State to increase the number of minority applicants for graduate programs. Pell holds a bachelor’s degree in science from the City College of New York and a doctorate degree in plant biology from Rutgers University. Her research focused on the effects of air pollution on plants.
Pell has served on panels and advisory boards for the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Commerce and the National Science Foundation’s Biological Sciences Advisory Committee. She currently serves on the National Science and Technology Committee of Science and Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Sustainability and the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee.
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