NSB News Release

National Science Board elects first industry leader in 30 years

IBM’s Darío Gil elected chair and University of the District of Columbia’s Victor McCrary re-elected vice-chair.

Side-by-side image of two men wearing glasses. Man on left in front of a white background. Man on right in front of blue background.

Left to right: NSB Chair DarĂ­o Gil, Vice Chair Victor McCrary (Credit and Larger Version)

May 14, 2024


Darío Gil and Victor McCrary will lead the National Science Board (NSB) for the next two years as its respective chair and vice chair. The National Science Foundation Act of 1950 charged the NSB with two roles: governing board of the NSF and advisor to Congress and the President on policy matters related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) research and STEM education. 

Gil, Senior Vice President and Director of IBM Research, replaces University of Utah Computer Science Professor and former Microsoft Executive Dan Reed, whose six-year term on the Board ended on May 10. The Board re-elected McCrary, Vice President for Research and Professor of Chemistry at the University of the District of Columbia, to serve a third term as NSB’s vice chair. 

It has been more than 30 years since the NSB had a Chair who was working in industry at the time of his or her election. Prior NSB Chairs working in industry at the time of their election were Mary Good (AlliedSignal), Roland Schmitt (GE), and Lewis Branscomb (IBM). Gil also has the distinction of being one of only three NSB Chairs under 50 at time of election.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues to build bridges across the Federal, business, academia, and philanthropy worlds to renew our commitments to STEM education, workforce development, and to tackling ambitious grand challenges to outpace our greatest strategic competitors,” says Gil. “It is time to join forces across sectors to ensure the long-term success of the United States.” 

“For our country to stay competitive – which is crucial to our economic and national security – we need to do much more to develop STEM workers at all levels, from skilled technical workers to advanced degree holders,” says Victor McCrary. “We need plumbers, we need Ph.D.s; we need electricians to electrical engineers to advanced degree holders in every STEM field, and we need an ‘all hands-on deck’ philosophy to create this reality for our nation. NSF is key in developing talent for our national security and for our national security sector.” 


About Darío Gil

Gil is a member of the NSB class of 2020 - 2026. Over the last two years, Gil chaired the Board’s Committee on External Engagement, leading the Board’s engagement strategy and initiatives. Gil has also served on NSB’s Committee on Strategy and chaired the sub-committee on Technology, Innovation and Partnerships (TIP), which worked with the NSF to launch the agency’s first new directorate in 30 years.  

Gil is Senior Vice President and Director of IBM Research, responsible for one of the world’s largest and most influential corporate research labs, with over 3,000 researchers. He leads the technical community of IBM, directing innovation strategies in hybrid cloud, AI, semiconductors, quantum computing, and exploratory science. 

Gil, who received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT, was recently elected to the National Academy of Engineering for his contributions to the “advancement and practical use of artificial intelligence and quantum computing in industry and society.” An advocate of collaborative research models, Gil co-chairs the Executive Board of the International Science Reserve, a global network of open scientific communities that provides specialized resources to prepare for and help mitigate urgent, complex global challenges. Gil has served on the President’s Council of Science and Technology Advisors (PCAST) and serves on the boards of the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the New York Academy of Sciences, the New York Hall of Science, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). 


About Victor McCrary

In May 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration re-appointed McCrary to serve a second six-year term on the NSB. As Vice Chair, McCrary regularly engages with a multitude of science and engineering communities, congressional offices, and Federal agency leaders. During his first six years on the Board, McCrary led the effort to recognize the non-degreed STEM workforce, resulting in the Board’s report, The Skilled Technical Workforce: Crafting America’s Science and Engineering Enterprise

McCrary is Vice President for Research and Professor of Chemistry at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) where he guides the development and sustainability of UDC’s research ecosystem through acquired grants and partnerships. He started his career as a research scientist at AT&T Bell Laboratories-Murray Hill and then joined the Advanced Technology Program at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), eventually becoming the inaugural Chief of the Convergent Information Systems Division. At NIST McCrary led the effort for electronic book standards and prototypes by employing high school and college students. McCrary’s executive research leadership positions include the Vice Chancellor for Research at University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Vice President for Research and Economic Development at Morgan State University; and Business Area Executive for Science & Technology at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. He is a former national president of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers and a Fellow of the American Chemical Society. McCrary was elected in 2023 to the Executive Committee of Council on Research (COR) of the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities (APLU).


About the National Science Board

The National Science Foundation Act of 1950 charged the NSB with two roles: governing board of the NSF and advisor to Congress and the President on policy matters related to STEM research and STEM education. Selected for their distinguished service and accomplishments in academia, government, and the private sector, the Board’s 24 presidentially appointed members are leaders in STEM research and STEM education.

Media Contact Nadine Lymn, National Science Board, (703) 292-2490, nlymn@nsf.gov


The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2023 budget of $9.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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