13 February 2017
OSA Presents 2017 Advocate of Optics Recognition to
National Science Foundation Director Dr. France A. Córdova
WASHINGTON —The Optical Society (OSA) presented its 2017 Advocate of Optics recognition to National Science Foundation (NSF) Director, France A. Córdova on 7 February during OSA’s annual two-day Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. Córdova was chosen as OSA’s 2017 Advocate of Optics for her “public policy leadership and efforts in support of the advancement of the science of light,” particularly her efforts in observational and experimental astrophysics.
Córdova is well known in the optics community as the 14th director of the NSF as well as for her work in the fields of space-borne instrumentation and x-ray and gamma ray source research. Currently, she is also president emerita of Purdue University and chancellor emerita of University of California, Riverside. Previously, Córdova served as chair of the Smithsonian Institution’s Board of Regents, as the National Air and Space Administration’s (NASA) chief scientist and on the National Science Board.
Córdova received NASA’s Distinguished Service Medal and is a Kilby Laureate. Earlier this year, she gave the Durand Lecture of the AIAA. In addition to these accolades, she has been awarded several honorary doctorates and has published over 150 scientific papers.
“The National Science Foundation began supporting early studies of one of the first optics-based interferometers, called LIGO, in 1975. This investment was a big risk at the time, but resulted in an historic scientific breakthrough,” remarked NSF Director France A. Córdova. “Throughout my career, I have worked with organizations advancing the optical sciences. NSF’s long-term involvement in the LIGO Scientific Collaboration is an important example of how optics continues moving us forward in science. I am honored to be recognized with this year’s Advocate of Optics recognition.”
Córdova received NASA’s Distinguished Service Medal and is a Kilby Laureate. In addition to these accolades, she had been awarded seven honorary doctorates and has been published over 150 times.
“The National Science Foundation began supporting early studies of one of the first optics-based interferometers, called LIGO, in 1975,” remarked France A. Córdova, NSF Director. “Throughout my career, I have worked with organizations with deep roots in the optical sciences. The NSF’s continued involvement in the LIGO Collaboration is another way that optics is moving us forward in astrophysics and I am honored to be recognized with this year’s Advocate of Optics recognition.
Eric Mazur, 2017 President of The Optical Society, said, “France has helped raise the profile of optical science to the national level by showcasing the tremendous potential of optics in gravitational wave breakthroughs like LIGO. Throughout her career, her research, leadership and dedication to promoting optical sciences makes her a wonderful choice for the OSA Advocate of Optics recognition.”
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.
About The Optical Society
Founded in 1916, The Optical Society (OSA) is the leading professional organization for scientists, engineers, students and business leaders who fuel discoveries, shape real-life applications and accelerate achievements in the science of light. Through world-renowned publications, meetings and membership initiatives, OSA provides quality research, inspired interactions and dedicated resources for its extensive global network of optics and photonics experts. For more information, visit: osa.org/100.