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A Scientific Advancement

A Scientific AdvancementTufts graduate Richard Meserve is appointed president of one of America's premier scientific research institutions. Washington, D.C.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [02.10.03] From the Earth's tectonic plates to distant solar systems, the Carnegie Institution's scientists have been at the forefront of modern science for more than a century. In March, Tufts graduate and Nuclear Regulatory Commission chair Richard Meserve will take the helm of the prestigious organization, bringing his broad skills as a physicist and lawyer to the 100-year-old research institution.

"I am extraordinarily pleased to have the opportunity to lead this important institution," Meserve said. "Although the Carnegie Institution is small in terms of the number of Carnegie scientists, it has made immense contributions to science over the years... I am eager to further Carnegie's tradition of excellent research."

Meserve will officially assume the presidency at the end of March, resigning from his current position as chair of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). One of three democrats on the commission, Meserve was appointed to the position by former President Bill Clinton in 1999.

"This was a difficult decision for me," the Tufts graduate told Nuclear News. "I believe that the NRC is the most capable and effective agency in government...with a staff that stands out in its dedication and competence."

With many accomplishments much during his three-year tenure with the organization, Meserve likely will be missed by the NRC. The American Association for the Advancement of Science, where Meserve serves as a board member, reported that the Tufts graduate's leadership was marked with effective responses to the escalated threat of terrorism after Sept. 11, as well as direction of the regulation of nuclear power through careful oversight and license renewals.

"I have enjoyed my service as chairman of the NRC, but the Carnegie Institution presented a special opportunity that I could not ignore," Meserve said. "I believe that much has been accomplished during my tenure as chairman of the NRC and I know that I am leaving a strong and capable agency behind me."

Meserve's colleagues are also very appreciative of his work at the NRC.

"Dr. Meserve has served capably and effectively," Joe Colvin, president and chief executive officer of the Nuclear Energy Institutue, told Nuclear News. "The Carnegie Institute can look forward to the arrival of a proven leader under whose guidance the NRC has remained true to its protective mission with a focus on more efficient, safety-focused regulation."

Meserve's appointment to presidency is not his first association with the Carnegie Institution. The Tufts graduate has served as a member of the organization's board of directors for the past ten years -- a role that most certainly played a factor in his selection.

"His unique qualifications in physics and law and his decade on the Carnegie board are a winning combination that will only make us stronger," said Tom Urban, chairman of the Carnegie board, said in a statement released by the research institution.

The Carnegie Institution of Washington, a private, nonprofit organization engaged in basic research and advanced education in biology, astronomy, and the earth sciences, was founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1902. More than 100 years old, the organization is globally renowned for its pioneering research in genetics, high-pressure physics, plant biology, and other scientific disciplines.


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