France A. France A. Córdova to Present AIAA Durand Lecture for Public Service Written 14 December 2016

CONTACT: John Blacksten


France A. Córdova to Present AIAA Durand Lecture for Public Service

December 14, 2016 – Reston, Va. – France A. Córdova, director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), Arlington, Virginia, has received the 2017 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Durand Lectureship for Public Service. Córdova will present her lecture at 12:30 p.m. on January 9, in conjunction with the 2017 AIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition ( AIAA SciTech Forum), January 9–13, at the Gaylord Texan Hotel and Convention Center, Grapevine, Texas.

Córdova’s lecture is entitled: “NSF’s 10 Big Ideas: Understanding Science, Discovering Breakthroughs, and Influencing Public Policy.”

President Obama appointed Córdova director of the NSF in March 2014. As director she leads the only government science agency charged with advancing all fields of scientific discovery, technological innovation, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. Prior to her leadership of the NSF, she was president of Purdue University from 2007 to 2012. She has held numerous leadership positions in the field of higher education, including chancellor of the University of California, Riverside, where she was also a distinguished professor of physics and astronomy; vice chancellor for research and professor of physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara; and as the head of the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at The Pennsylvania State University. From 1993 to 1996 she served as NASA’s chief scientist. Córdova’s other positions have included serving as deputy group leader of the Earth and Space Sciences Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where she also served as a staff scientist from 1979 to 1989.

In addition to her leadership of the NSF, Córdova has served as chair of the Smithsonian Institution's board of regents, and served on the board of trustees of the Mayo Clinic. She was also a member of the National Science Board (NSB), where she chaired the Committee on Strategy and Budget. Córdova, by virtue of her leadership of NSF, is an ex officio member of the NSB.

Córdova’s past honors include NASA’s Distinguished Service Medal. She was named a Kilby Laureate in 2000, recognizing her “significant contributions to society through science, technology, innovation, invention, and education.” She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a National Associate of the National Academies. She is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Association of Women in Science.

For more information about the Durand Lectureship for Public Service, or the AIAA Honors and Awards Program, please contact Carol Stewart at or 703.264.7538.


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