SIG Board

Phillip A. Griffiths

Phillip A. GriffithsChairman and Founding Member

Dr. Griffiths is an emeritus professor in the School of Mathematics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. He served as the Institute’s director from 1991-2003 and as a professor of mathematics from 2003-2009. He was formerly Provost and James B. Duke Professor of Mathematics at Duke University and professor of mathematics at Harvard, and he has taught at Princeton University and the University of California, Berkeley. He received his PhD from Princeton University.
Dr. Griffiths is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. From 1993-1999 he chaired the Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy (COSEPUP), the principal science policy arm of the U.S. National Academies of Science and Engineering and the Institute of Medicine. In this role, Dr. Griffiths was active in recommending national science policy strategies, many of which have been implemented by federal agencies and Congress. He is a Foreign Associate of TWAS. He served on the National Science Board from 1991-1996 and served as Secretary of the International Mathematical Union from 1999-2006.
A former member of the Board of Directors of Bankers Trust New York Corporation and GSI Group, Dr. Griffiths currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Oppenheimer Funds.

Bruce Alberts, since 2010

Dr. Alberts, a prominent biochemist with a strong commitment to the improvement of science education, serves as Editor-in-Chief of Science, and as one of President Obama's first three Science Envoys. Alberts is also Professor Emeritus in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco, to which he returned in 2005 after serving two six-year terms as the president of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in Washington, D.C. During his tenure at the NAS, Alberts was instrumental in developing the landmark National Science Education standards that promote ‘”science as inquiry” teaching.
From 2000 to 2009, Alberts served as co-chair of the InterAcademy Council, an organization in Amsterdam governed by the presidents of 15 national academies of sciences and established to provide scientific advice to the world.
Alberts is also noted as one of the original authors of The Molecular Biology of the Cell, a pre-eminent textbook in the field now in its fifth edition. Alberts has earned many honors and awards, including 16 honorary degrees. He currently serves on the advisory boards of more than 25 non-profit institutions, including the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Mohamed H.A. Hassan

Mohamed H. A. Hassan, since 2004

Professor Hassan is the immediate past president of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) and the immediate past executive director of TWAS, the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World. He is Co-Chair of the InterAcademy Panel (IAP) - the Global Network of Science Academies and serves on a number of committees with other organizations worldwide. He holds a PhD in Plasma Physics from the University of Oxford, UK (1974), and is a former professor and dean of the School of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Khartoum, Sudan. He received the order of scientific merit of Brazil and the order of merit of Italy. He is a fellow of TWAS, AAS, the World Academy of Arts and Sciences (WAAS), the Islamic World Academy of Sciences, and the Academy of Sciences and Technology of Senegal; honorary member of the Colombian Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences and the Palestine Academy of Science and Technology; corresponding member of the Belgian Royal Overseas Academy of Sciences; and foreign fellow of the Pakistan Academy of Sciences and the Cuban Academy of Sciences. His research areas include theoretical plasma physics, physics of wind erosion and sand transport.
J. Tomas Hexner

J. Tomas Hexner, Founding Member

Mr. Hexner received a BA in economics and an MBA from Harvard University. He has over thirty years’ experience in policies, projects, and institution-building in developing countries, including Pakistan, Indonesia, sub-Saharan Africa and Paraguay. He has worked with foundations, among them Ford and Rockefeller, and with bilateral and multilateral agencies (USAID, World Bank, IMF, UNDP) that assist these countries.

Mr. Hexner’s projects have included crafting an environmental action plan for sub-Saharan Africa, formulating the Agriculture and Rural Development Policy for the World Bank, privatizing enterprises in Bangladesh, and exploring the options for reinvigorating science and technology in Vietnam. He has founded several high-tech companies, including Genetics Institute and Thinking Machines, and he has been involved in industrial-academic relations at both Harvard and Duke Universities.

Jacob Palis

Jacob Palis, Founding Member

Professor Palis is Professor and Director Emeritus at the Instituto Nacional de Matemática Pura e Aplicada (IMPA) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He is a graduate of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and received his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. His primary research area is dynamical systems.

Professor Palis is President of TWAS and former Vice President of the International Council for Scientific Unions (ICSU). He served as Secretary to the International Mathematical Union from 1991-1998 and as President from 1999-2002. He is a member of the Scientific Committee of the Brazilian National Research Council and of COPEA-Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, an Interdisciplinary Scientific College.

He is Chair of the Scientific Council of the International Center for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy, and a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the ETH, Zurich, and the Scientific and Strategic Committee of the College de France. He is President of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences and a member of several others, including the Indian, French and U.S. National Academy of Sciences. Professor Palis is a 2010 recipient of the Balzan Prize.

C.N.R. Rao

C.N.R. Rao, Founding Member

Professor Rao is National Research Professor, Honorary President & Linus Pauling Research Professor of the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research in Bangalore, India. His main research interests are solid state and materials chemistry, surface phenomena, spectroscopy and molecular structure. He received his M.Sc. from Banaras, his PhD from Purdue, and his D.Sc. from Mysore.

Professor Rao is a Founding Fellow and Past President of TWAS. He is a fellow of many Academies of Sciences, including the Indian and French, the Royal Society in London and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

He served on the Executive Board of the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) and the International Scientific Board of UNESCO. He has served as president of the Indian National Science Academy, the Indian Academy of Sciences, and the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry. He is Chairman of the Science Advisory Council of the Prime Minister of India. Among his many awards and honors, he received the Dan David Prize for materials research and is the first recipient of the India Science Prize.

Chung W. Kim

Chung W. Kim, Founding Member (Emeritus; 1999-2010)  

Professor Kim is Professor Emeritus and former Director of the Korea Institute for Advanced Study (KIAS) and Professor of Physics Emeritus at the Johns Hopkins University. His primary area of expertise is particle physics. He has published numerous works on neutrinos, muon capture, nuclear decay, and other aspects of elementary particle behavior. A summa cum laude graduate of Seoul Academy of Science and Technology, he received his PhD from Indiana University.

In Korea, he has served as Chair, Physics Sub-Committee, KIAS (1997), and Member, International Science Advisory Board, Korea Science and Engineering Foundation. He also served as President of the Association of Korean Physicists in America (1989-1990) and U.S. Regional Editor, Journal of Korean Physical Society (1991-1994). Among his honorific titles are Fellow, American Physical Society; Fellow, Korean Physical Society; Fellow, Korean Academy of Sciences and Technology (Hanlim Won); and Korean national decoration, Moran Order of Merit (1998).


Harold Varmus (Emeritus; 2003-2010)

Dr. Varmus is the Director of the National Cancer Institute. He was formerly the President of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and Co-Chair of President Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

Much of Dr. Varmus’ scientific work was conducted at the University of California, San Francisco, where he, Dr. J. Michael Bishop and co-workers demonstrated the cellular origins of the oncogene of a chicken retrovirus. This discovery led to the isolation of many cellular genes that normally control growth and development and are frequently mutated in human cancer. For this work, Bishop and Varmus received the 1989 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine.

In 1993, Varmus was named by President Clinton to serve as the Director of the National Institutes of Health, a position he held until the end of 1999. During his tenure at the NIH, he initiated many changes in the conduct of intramural and extramural research programs and recruited new leaders for most of the important positions at the NIH.

In addition to authoring over 300 scientific papers and four books, Dr. Varmus has been an advisor to the federal government, pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms, and academic institutions. He is co-founder and Chairman of the Board of the Public Library of Science, and he has served on the World Health Organization’s Commission on Macroeconomics and Health, advisory committees on electronic publishing, and a National Research Council panel on genetically modified organisms. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and of the Institute of Medicine.