Rodney W. Nichols

Consultant on Science and Technology Policy

Rodney W. Nichols was President and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences (1992 to 2001), Scholar-in-Residence at the Carnegie Corporation of New York (1990-1992), and Vice President and Executive Vice President of The Rockefeller University (1970-1990) working with physicist Frederick Seitz and geneticist Joshua Lederberg. Earlier he was an R&D manager in industry and in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

A Harvard graduate and physicist, he is co-author of two books and many papers, and has spoken to corporate, academic, and governmental groups on: research strategy; international scientific cooperation; K-12 education for economic development; and ethical issues in R&D. For instance, he spoke at the U.S.-Japan “Innovation Summit” (Nogoya10/05), at India’s “R&D-Summit” (New Delhi 11/05), “China, India, and US Science and Technology” (Bangalore 2008); and “Ethical Currents in Science” (New York 2008).

Mr. Nichols led projects conducted in China, Japan, India, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. He is on the Board of Advisors to Foreign Affairs, and co-chaired the Japan-U.S. Cooperative Science Program of the National Science Foundation. Mr. Nichols served on U.S. government delegations for negotiations on arms control, on technology transfer, and on capacity building in developing countries.

Appointed to the Executive Committee of the Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology, and Government (1989-1994), Mr. Nichols was principal author of the Commission’s January 1992 report entitled Science and Technology in U.S. International Affairs. He was vice chair to former President Jimmy Carter for the Commission’s December 1992 report on Partnerships for Global Development. He co-authored chapters on “Science and Technology in North America” for UNESCO’s biennial World Science Report (1994, 1996, and 1998), prepared the entry on “Science and Technology” for Oxford’s Encyclopedia of U.S. Foreign Relations (1997), and chaired a project of the Council on Foreign Relations on Technology Policy in Managing Global Warming (2001). He is on the editorial board of Technology in Society: An International Journal; he co-edited, and wrote the closing analysis for, a special double issue on “S&T in China, India, and the US” (Aug 2008). He contributed two chapters on S&T in “Mapping the New World of American Philanthropy,” Wiley, 2007, and co-authored “OSTP 2.0,” a study of the White House Science Office, Woodrow Wilson Center, Nov 2008.

Mr. Nichols has advised the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; State, Defense, and Energy Departments; NIH; NSF; Peace Corps; UN; Congressional Office of Technology Assessment; and the National Academies of Science and Engineering. He has given Congressional testimony on both civilian and defense R&D.

His industrial consulting included the research laboratory of GTE and Shell Technology Ventures, and is presently a partner in GothamOrient LLC.

He currently serves on The Rockefeller University Council, and on the boards of the Research Foundation of the City University of New York, US Civilian Research and Development Foundation, Eugene Lang College of New School University, Manhattan Institute, and ALS Association. Mr.Nichols gave invited testimony in 2007 to the bi-partisan HELP Commission that reviewed reforms for US foreign assistance. He was a founding judge on the selection panel for the Weizmann Institute’s Women in Science Award and served on the 2005-07 National Innovation Initiative of the Council on Competitiveness. Earlier he served on the boards of the American University of Beirut, Christopher Reeve Foundation, and the Critical Technologies Institute (RAND). He has been a consultant to the Lounsbery Foundation, the Simons Foundation, Changing Our World, Inc, Woodrow Wilson Center, and the Gerson Lehrman Technology Council.

Elected a Fellow of the AAAS and of the New York Academy of Sciences, Mr. Nichols is a member of the American Physical Society. He was elected to the Council on Foreign Relations, Sigma Xi, and World Innovation Foundation. He was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Distinguished and Meritorious Civilian Service (1970), the Distinguished Patriot Award of the Sons of the Revolution (1996), and an honorary Doctor of Science by Cedar Crest College (2001). He is a member of the Harvard Club, Century Association, and Cosmos Club.