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News & Information: News From the Field

Announcing the New AAAS CEO and Science Executive Publisher

Tuesday, November 18, 2014  
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Message below sent on behalf of Phillip Sharp 

I am delighted to announce that U.S. Congressman Rush D. Holt, Ph.D., a research physicist and former teacher, has accepted the position of Chief Executive Officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and executive publisher of the Science family of journals. Dr. Holt will transition to AAAS after his eighth term of service ends on Capitol Hill, during the association’s 2015 Annual Meeting, February 12-16, in San Jose, Ca. 

Efforts to advance science, promote public engagement with science and technology, and ensure that accurate scientific information informs policy decisions—core AAAS activities—have also been central to Dr. Holt’s long record of public service. He has represented Central New Jersey (12th District) since 1999. He earned his B.A. degree in physics from Carleton College, and he completed his Master’s and doctoral degrees at New York University. A former AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow, he has held positions as a teacher and as an arms control expert at the U.S. Department of State. From 1989 until 1998, he served as Assistant Director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. 

Dr. Holt has a long track record of advocacy for federal investment in research and development, science education, and innovation. He has also broadly promoted the value of science communication, particularly for conveying the urgency of climate change, and he has said that “thinking like a scientist” can benefit the policymaking process. Incidentally, he is a five-time “Jeopardy!” champion, who famously beat the IBM supercomputer Watson in a simulated exhibition game intended to help promote innovation. 

As you know, Dr. Holt will succeed Dr. Alan Leshner, who has been a fabulous leader for AAAS for the past 13 years. Alan’s legacy at AAAS will include the launch of a far-reaching Transformation Initiative and the association’s first open-access journal, Science Advances; leadership to promote international research cooperation and science diplomacy; the association’s productive Center for Public Engagement with Science and Technology; and a wide array of other efforts to ensure that scientific advances benefit society. Please join me in thanking Alan for his tremendous service, and in welcoming Rush as the new AAAS CEO and Science executive publisher.

Phillip A. Sharp
Chair, AAAS Board of Directors

2424 American Lane • Madison, WI 53704-3102 USA
Phone: +1 608-441-1070 • Fax: +1 608-443-2474 • Email:

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