About Us
Speaker Bios
Schedule of Events
Committee Members


Professor John M. Deutch, MIT

Professor George M. Whitesides, Harvard

William S. Rees, Jr., LANL

Professor Jay D. Keasling, UC Berkeley

Kathryn L. Beers, NIST

David Goldston, NRDC

Joan Berkowitz , Farkas Berkowitz & Company

John Gavenonis, DuPont

Janan Hayes , Chair ACS History of Chemistry


Professor John M. Deutch, MIT:

John Deutch is an Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Mr. Deutch has been a member of the MIT faculty since 1970, and has served as Chairman of the Department of Chemistry, Dean of Science and Provost. In May 1995, he was sworn in as Director of Central Intelligence following a unanimous vote in the Senate, and served as DCI until December 1996. From March 1994 to May 1995, he served as the Deputy Secretary of Defense. From March 1993 to March 1994, Dr. Deutch served as Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisitions and Technology. From 1977 to 1980, John Deutch served in a number of positions for the U.S. Department of Energy: as Director of Energy Research, Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Technology, and Undersecretary of the Department. In addition John Deutch has served on many commissions during several presidential administrations. He has served on the President's Nuclear Safety Oversight Committee (1980-81); the President's Commission on Strategic Forces (1983); the White House Science Council (1985-89); the President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology (1997-2001), the President's Intelligence Advisory Board (1990-93); the President' Commission on Aviation Safety and Security (1996); the Commission on Reducing and Protecting Government Secrecy (1996); and as Chairman of the Commission to Assess the Organization of the Federal Government to Combat the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (1998-99).

Professor George M. Whitesides, Harvard:

George M. Whitesides is the Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor of Chemistry at Harvard University, and he is the most highly cited and arguably most influential chemist in the world.  His contributions span chemical disciplines from self-assembly and surface science to physical organic chemistry, biochemistry and science for developing economies. Professor Whitesides has won many awards including the National Medal of Science and the Priestly Medal. He has founded twelve companies now worth billions of dollars, including Genzyme, Surface Logix, and Nano-terra. His public service includes his work as a panelist for "Rising Above the Gathering Storm," his report on the state of chemical research in the UK called "the Whitesides Report," and his leadership in non-profit organizations from the National Science Foundation to the startup Diagnostics for All.

William S. Rees, Jr., LANL:

William Rees is the principal associate director for Global Security at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Rees’ most recent assignments prior to being appointed at LANL include the Science and Technology Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., where he is a fellow, and deputy under secretary of defense for Department of Defense (DoD) Laboratories and Basic Sciences, DUSD (LABS). In the latter capacity, he was responsible for providing scientific leadership, management oversight, policy guidance, and coordination of the more than $1.8 billion annual basic research programs of the military services and defense agencies. In addition, Rees was responsible for DoD Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and workforce issues, grants policy, Defense Laboratories policy, and international S&T programs. He was the United States’ science and technology lead to NATO and the U.S. principal on the NATO Research and Technology Board. Prior to his service in DoD, he was with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s S&T Directorate. Rees is widely recognized internationally as a chemist. He holds seven patents and has more than 140 publications. For over a decade Rees was a full professor and director of the Molecular Design Institute at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Rees earned his bachelor of science degree from Texas Tech and his doctorate from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), and he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (’86 – ’89).

Professor Jay D. Keasling, UC Berkeley:

Jay D. Keasling is the Hubbard Howe Jr. Distinguished Professor of Biochemical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. Professor Keasling is also the director of the Physical Biosciences Division at the Lawrence Berkeley Labs and director of the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center. Keasling is a leader in the field of synthetic biology, a field which applies engineering principles to biological systems. He has contributed to making the previously scarce anti-malaria drug artemisinin available to the developing world. As a proponent of low-cost access to pharmaceuticals for the developing world, he has worked closely with university officials and pharmaceutical companies to prevent profits from being made on his patented systems. He is currently working on methods of converting cellulose into biofuel so that all plant material, including grass, weeds, and paper waste, can be utilized as a source of clean energy.

Kathryn L. Beers, NIST:

Kathryn L. Beers is the director of NIST's Combinatorial Methods Center and acting group leader in the Polymers Division of NIST's Materials Science & Engineering Laboratory. Her research interests include microreactors and microfluidics, integrated and high throughput measurements of polymeric materials, as well as the development of degradable and renewable polymeric materials. Doctor Beers spent part of 2007 and 2008 working with President George W. Bush's science adviser, John H. Marburger III, who also served as director of the Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP). As the assistant director for physical sciences and engineering at OSTP, Beers was in charge of a portfolio that included the Department of Energy's Office of Science, the National Aeronautics & Space Administration's Science Mission Directorate, and a significant portion of the National Science Foundation.As the assistant director for physical sciences and engineering at OSTP, Beers was in charge of a portfolio that included the Department of Energy's Office of Science, the National Aeronautics & Space Administration's Science Mission Directorate, and a significant portion of the National Science Foundation.

David Goldston, NRDC:

David Goldston was recently appointed as Director of Government Affairs for the National Resources Defense Council. As Director of Government Affairs, Goldston will oversee the development and implementation of NRDC’s strategies for interacting with Congress and the Obama administration.  He also will work closely with NRDC’s non-profit partners and private sector allies. Prior to this appointment, Goldston served for six years (2001-2006) as Chief of Staff of the House Committee on Science under Chairman Sherwood Boehlert of New York.  As Chief of Staff, he oversaw a committee with jurisdiction over much of the federal research portfolio, including the civilian research activities of the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. Prior to becoming Chief of Staff, Goldston was Boehlert’s legislative director during the years when Boehlert led a coalition of moderate Republicans that was pivotal in blocking environmental rollbacks. In that role, Goldston played a part in debates on a wide range of environmental issues, including clean air, forestry and endangered species. Goldston retired from the Congressional staff at the end of 2006 and since then has taught at Princeton and Harvard, and has written the monthly column “Party of One” on science policy for the journal Nature. Goldston was graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in American history from Cornell University in 1978. He completed the course work for a Ph.D. in American history at the University of Pennsylvania in 1993.

Joan Berkowitz , Farkas Berkowitz & Company:

Joan Berkowitz began her management consulting career at Arthur D. Little, where she was a vice president. She specializes in analyzing environmental and infrastructure markets in support of the firm’s strategy practice. She has a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Illinois and is a graduate of the senior executive program of the MIT Sloan School. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland.

John Gavenonis, DuPont:

John Gavenonis is the Government Affairs Committee (GAC) Chair for the Delaware Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS), where he is responsible for ACS policy advocacy with Delaware’s federal legislators. In the past several years, John has organized regular meetings with Senator Thomas R. Carper (D-DE), Senator Ted Kaufman (D-DE), Congressman Michael N. Castle (R-DE), and their staff, both in Delaware and Washington. In addition, John assists ACS with training of new GAC Chairs and policy advocates as a member of the Committee on Chemistry and Public Affairs (CCPA). Outside of ACS, John Gavenonis is the Global Health Care Manager for DuPont Performance Polymers in Wilmington, Delaware. He is responsible for DuPont’s engineering thermoplastic resins business for the medical, surgical, and pharmaceutical delivery device markets. Previously, John was part of the DuPont Engineering Polymers technical service group specializing in Zytel® and Minlon® thermoplastic nylon resins and was an R&D chemist with DuPont Titanium Technologies. John earned his Ph.D. in inorganic / organometallic chemistry under the direction of Professor T. Don Tilley at University of California, Berkeley. He received his S.B. degree in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he conducted undergraduate research with 2005 Nobel Laureate Professor Richard R. Schrock.

Janan Hayes, Chair ACS History of Chemistry:

Janan M. Hayes, Ph.D., retired to Sacramento in 2005 after over 35 years of teaching and administration in California high schools, community colleges and CSU.  She started her career teaching 9th thru 12th grade science in Fortuna, CA.  The majority of her career was spent in the community colleges.  She retired as a chemistry faculty member and administrator at Merced College, Merced after 15 years. The preceding 18 years she was in the Los Rios Community College District, Sacramento as a faculty member at American River College and an administrator at Cosumnes River College.

Hayes received her B.S. and M.S. in Physical Science Education from Oregon State University in 1964 and 1965. She received her Ph.D. in Inorganic-Analytical Chemistry in 1971 from Brigham Young University in Utah. Dr. Hayes was at Merced College from 1989 until her retirement in 2005.  At Merced College, she was Dean of Instruction and Vice President of Instruction.  She then completed her career as a faculty member in Chemistry and Physical Science.  She also was Co-director of Project Inclusion.  This project was funded by multiple sources as way to bring meaning and relevance to the teaching of physical sciences by featuring the contributions of different peoples, times and places that were meaningful to her students.  She now has returned to permanent residence in Sacramento.

She continues to do research and presentations on topics in chemical history and is the current Chair of the ACS Division of History of Chemistry. An ACS member since 1969, Hayes has served on more than a dozen national Society committees and task forces. She was elected to the ACS Board of Directors for the 2008-2010 as a Director-at-Large.  She also has been active at the local level, where she has been chair of the ACS Sacramento Section, served as a councilor for the section and has worked on numerous committees.  In her 35 years representing the Sacramento ACS as Councilor she has also served continuously on regional committees on public policy and meeting planning.

Her honors include the ACS Award for Volunteer Service to the American Chemical Society in 2005 and the Shirley B. Radding Award, Santa Clara Valley Section, ACS in 2007.