National Science Board Elects First Industry Leader in 30 Years

RPI board member Darío Gil, IBM Senior Vice President, named chair

May 29, 2024

Dario Gil

Darío Gil, Ph.D., IBM Senior Vice President and Director of Research and a member of the Board of Trustees for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), has been elected chair of the National Science Board (NSB).

The NSB is the governing board of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and adviser to Congress and the President on policy matters related to STEM research and STEM education. 

“Darío Gil’s insights and innovative thinking will be indispensable to his leadership of the NSB,” said RPI President Martin A. Schmidt, Ph.D. “His election speaks volumes about his exceptional talents and dedication to advancing science and underscores the crucial role that industry plays in shaping the future of research and innovation. His leadership will undoubtedly usher in a new era of collaboration and progress, bridging the gap between academia and industry to tackle the most pressing challenges facing our world today.” 

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. Of the three previous industry leaders on the NSB, two had strong affiliations with RPI: Dr. Mary Good (AlliedSignal) and Dr. Roland Schmitt (GE). Dr. Good was also a member of RPI’s Board of Trustees and Dr. Schmitt was RPI’s president 1988-1993. 

“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.” 

Gil also has the distinction of being one of only three NSB chairs under 50 at time of election.

Gil is a member of the NSB class of 2020-2026. Over the last two years, he 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, which worked with the NSF to launch the agency’s first new directorate in 30 years. 

As Senior Vice President and Director of IBM Research, Gil is 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 and serves on the boards of the Semiconductor Industry Association, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the New York Academy of Sciences, the New York Hall of Science, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Written By Tracey Leibach
Back to top