The members of the American Chemical Society have elected Diane Grob Schmidt, a section head at Procter & Gamble, as ACS president-elect for 2014. During her three-year succession, Schmidt will serve as president of the society in 2015 and immediate past-president in 2016; she will also serve on the board of directors. The society, which publishes C&EN, also elected or reelected four other board directors.
In the president-elect race, no candidate had a majority of members’ first-choice votes. Because Charles E. Kolb Jr., president and chief executive officer at Aerodyne Research, received the fewest first-choice votes, the second-choice votes of members who preferred Kolb were added to the first-choice votes for G. Bryan Balazs, an associate program leader at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Schmidt, per ACS Bylaws. That gave Schmidt 42% of the total votes for president-elect, compared with 35% for Balazs and 23% for Kolb. Schmidt was a petition candidate, having secured more than 800 nominations to add her name to the ballot.
“It is a great honor to be elected to represent members and serve ACS,” says Schmidt. Being chosen as president-elect is “exciting, electric, and a chance of a lifetime.”
During her term in office, Schmidt plans to focus on working “to create an atmosphere that encourages growth and the addition of U.S. jobs,” she says. “Advocating for improved and sustained funding of the chemical enterprise is now more critical than ever to reignite America’s commitment to science and technology.”
Schmidt received an A.B. in chemistry from University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, and an M.S. in organic chemistry from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, before earning a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Cincinnati in 1981. That same year, she joined Procter & Gamble.
Among her many honors, Schmidt received the Henry A. Hill Award from the ACS Division of Professional Relations in 2012 and was named an ACS Fellow in 2011.
In other ACS election results, George M. Bodner, the Arthur Kelly Distinguished Professor of Chemical Education and an engineering faculty member at Purdue University, won reelection as District II director for a three-year term. He defeated Alan A. Hazari, director of chemistry labs and lecturer at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
For the District IV director position, Rigoberto Hernandez, a professor of chemistry at Georgia Institute of Technology, defeated incumbent Larry K. Krannich, a professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.
In elections for at-large director, Dorothy J. Phillips, a retired Waters Corp. marketing director, and Kathleen M. Schulz, president of Business Results, secured the two open seats. They will join four other current at-large directors.
Phillips and Schulz defeated Susan B. Butts, an independent consultant, and Thom H. Dunning Jr., director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and a professor and the Distinguished Chair for Research Excellence in Chemistry at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Only ACS members in a given district vote for that district’s director. And only voting councilors can submit a ballot for director-at-large. Out of 486 councilors eligible to vote, ACS received 382 valid ballots for director-at-large. Voter participation for president-elect was about the same as last year, totaling nearly 14% of eligible voters, defined as ACS members in good standing who joined the society no later than August.
Additional information about the winners can be found in the candidates’ statements (C&EN, Sept. 16, page 36).