SIAM News Blog

Dr. Anne Kinney Chosen to Lead NSF Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate

The National Science Foundation (NSF) on Wednesday announced Dr. Anne Kinney as the new head of its Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS), which fosters vital research in the fields of chemistry, physics, mathematics, astronomy, and materials science.

Kinney - an extragalactic astronomy expert with decades of leadership experience within the astronomical community - was previously chief scientist for the W. M. Keck Observatory, which houses the largest infrared and optical telescopes in the world. Before that, she held numerous positions with NASA, including Director of the Solar System Exploration Division at its Goddard Space Flight Center and Universe Division Director at its headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Anne Kinney. Photo credit: W. M. Keck Observatory.
"[Dr.] Kinney has successfully brought together researchers, educators, students and other partners time and again to support significant scientific and engineering feats. I am thrilled to welcome her to the NSF leadership team, where her skills and experience will help us maintain our position keeping the U.S. at the forefront of scientific and technological excellence,” said NSF Director France Córdova.

MPS supplies almost half of all federal funding for essential research in the mathematical and physical sciences at academic institutions across the country, supporting cutting-edge scientific discoveries. It places particular importance on burgeoning areas of science like photonics, quantum information science, optics, data science, and clean energy.

"MPS explores some of our most compelling scientific questions, and I am eager to add to the efforts of an agency that plays a key role in driving the U.S. economy, ensuring national security and enhancing the nation's global leadership in innovation," Kinney said. “It’s exciting to think that my work at MPS will support research with the potential to fuel decades’ worth of future exploration.”

Kinney received her bachelor’s degree in astronomy and physics from the University of Wisconsin in 1975, and her doctorate in astrophysics from New York University in 1984. She will begin her NSF appointment on January 2, 2018.

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