Rita Colwell

Rita Colwell, President, Cosmos ID, Inc., Senior Advisor, Canon US Life Sciences, Inc., and Distinguished University Professor both at the University of Maryland at College Park and at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, obtained a Ph.D. in Oceanography from the University of Washington. Her interests are focused on global infectious diseases, water, and health, and she has developed an international network to address emerging infectious diseases and water issues, including safe drinking water for both the developed and developing world. Dr. Colwell served as the 11th Director of the National Science Foundation. Her major interests include K-12 science and mathematics education, graduate science and engineering education, and the increased participation of women and minorities in science and engineering. Dr. Colwell has served as Chairman of the Board of Governors and President of several professional associations and societies. Dr. Colwell is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. Dr. Colwell has authored or co-authored 17 books and more than 750 scientific publications. She produced the award-winning film, Invisible Seas, and has served on editorial boards of numerous scientific journals. Dr. Colwell has also been awarded 54 honorary degrees from institutions of higher education, including her Alma Mater, Purdue University, and received the National Medal of Science in 2006. A geological site in Antarctica, Colwell Massif, has been named in recognition of her work in the polar regions.