Rep. Rush Holt Named 2009 OSA Advocate of Optics


Lyndsay Meyer
The Optical Society

Rep. Rush Holt Named 2009 OSA Advocate of Optics

WASHINGTON, Feb. 25—The Optical Society (OSA) recognized Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.) this week as its 2009 Advocate of Optics.  Rep. Holt was chosen for the honor because of his extraordinary leadership in seeking to increase federal investments in the sciences, including critical research and development (R&D). He is also being recognized for his work as co-chair of the Congressional R&D Caucus, which hosted a briefing with OSA on Strengthening National Defense with Laser Technology in 2007.

“Throughout his 12 years of service as a congressperson, Rep. Holt has worked as a tireless advocate for R&D funding, STEM education and innovation legislation,” said OSA President Thomas Baer.  “As one of three Ph.D. physicists in the U.S. Congress, Rep. Holt has a unique perspective on issues of importance to the scientific community and I am thrilled to present a fellow physicist with this honor.”

Rep. Holt was actively involved in OSA’s Congressional R&D Caucus briefing in 2007 on lasers in national defense.  As co-chair of the R&D Caucus, Holt helped draw attention to the importance of optics and photonics – the science of light – by focusing on the use of laser technology in defense and military applications.  Prior to coming to Congress, Rep. Holt was an assistant director at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.  He currently serves on the House Education and Labor Committee, the Natural Resources Committee and the Intelligence Committee.

To be recognized as an OSA Advocate of Optics, a public official must have a record consistent with his or her support of science, optics and photonics and be an enthusiastic advocate for science policy issues, with particular regard to the advancement of the science of light.  OSA President Thomas Baer presented Rep. Holt with a trophy Tuesday on Capitol Hill.

About OSA
Uniting more than 70,000 professionals from 134 countries, the Optical Society (OSA) brings together the global optics community through its programs and initiatives. Since 1916 OSA has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing educational resources to the scientists, engineers and business leaders who work in the field by promoting the science of light and the advanced technologies made possible by optics and photonics. OSA publications, events, technical groups and programs foster optics knowledge and scientific collaboration among all those with an interest in optics and photonics. For more information, visit

EDITOR’S NOTE: A high-resolution photo of OSA President Thomas Baer presenting the Advocate of Optics trophy to Rep. Rush Holt is available by contacting Lyndsay Meyer, 202.416.1435 or