Biography of France A. Córdova:
France A. Córdova, was sworn in as director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2014. Nominated by President Barack Obama to head the $7.2-billion independent federal agency, Córdova leads the only government science agency charged with advancing all fields of scientific discovery, technological innovation, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. Córdova is president emerita of Purdue University, where she served as president. She led the University of California, Riverside, as chancellor and was a distinguished professor of physics and astronomy. Córdova was the vice chancellor for research and professor of physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, from 1996 to 2002. From 1993 to 1996, Córdova served as NASA's chief scientist. Córdova was deputy group leader in the Earth and space sciences division at Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1988 to 1989. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University and her doctorate in physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1979.
Córdova's scientific contributions have been in the areas of observational and experimental astrophysics, multi-spectral research on x-ray and gamma ray sources and space-borne instrumentation. She is a recipient of NASA's highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal, and was recognized as a Kilby Laureate in 2000. Córdova was elected to 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 (AAAS) and the Association for Women In Science (AWIS).