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Parikh named next AAAS leader

Current senior vice president at Drug Information Association to head world’s largest general scientific society


Oct. 30, 2019
By Walt Williams

Sudip Parikh has been hired as the next CEO of the $99 million-revenue American Association for the Advancement of Science, one of the nation’s largest and oldest scientific societies.

Parikh currently is a senior vice president and managing director, Americas, at the Drug Information Association. He will become head of AAAS in January 2020, succeeding Rush Holt, who retired in September.

“In this extraordinary era of advances and challenges, science must be integral to decision-making at every policy table and kitchen table,” Parikh said in a statement. “I am committed to working with our diverse board, staff and members to ensure AAAS is an essential modern leader at this pivotal moment, while ensuring that our mission would be fully recognizable to the visionaries in whose footsteps we follow.”

The son of Indian immigrants, Parikh has a Ph.D. in macromolecular structure and chemistry from Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif. He previously held leadership roles at the multibillion-dollar global research and development organization Battelle and was science advisor and professional staff for the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations from 2001 to 2009. He currently serves on the boards of Research!America and Friends of Cancer Research.

“Sudip Parikh is an exemplary leader,” Mary Woolley, CEO of Research!America, said in a statement. “In his role as a valued member of the Research!America board of directors, Sudip is highly respected for his multifaceted insight and understanding of the concerns facing the broad science and science stakeholder community.”

Parikh is joining an organization that has sought to raise the profile of scientists in policymaking in recent years, being one of the groups that participated in the first March for Science in 2017. The association has also sought to address criticism that the scientific community has been slow to address sexual harassment in its ranks, adopting a new policy last year allowing for the expulsion of AAAS fellows who have been found to have engaged in harassment.