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30 Jul 2012 10:15 Age: 4 year
Category: Press Releases

John D. Petersen Appointed IUPAC Executive Director

Dr. John D. Petersen will be the next Executive Director of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), according to an announcement today from the IUPAC Secretariat.  Petersen will succeed Dr. Terrence A. Renner who has elected to retire at the end of this year.  The new appointment will be effective 1 August 2012.

 Dr. Petersen comes to the IUPAC post from the Research Triangle Institute in North Carolina, where he was Vice President of University Collaborations, Development and Outreach.  He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from California State University, Los Angeles.  Thereafter, he completed his PhD in inorganic chemistry at the University of California, Santa Barbara, as a student of Prof. Peter C. Ford.  Dr. Petersen’s distinguished career includes positions as Executive Director (RTP Solar Fuels Project), President of the University of Tennessee System, and academic appointments at the University of Connecticut, Wayne State University, Kansas State University, and Clemson University.

 Dr. Petersen commented that “our world is facing some critical issues: developing renewable energy sources, maximizing sustainability, minimizing environmental issues such as global warming, as well as expanding the workforce of the future.  The six long-range goals of IUPAC’s strategic plan set the framework to meet these issues directly.  It is exciting when one has the opportunity to interact with creative individuals and groups while assisting in the formulation of the strategies to implement goals.  I believe that the breadth of my experience in all sectors of chemistry, my international connections, my ability to work with local and central governments, and my skill in assisting others in translating their visions into practice are assets for the job of Executive Director.”

To ensure continuity, Dr. Renner will remain in his current role until his retirement on 31 December 2012, serving as a mentor and consultant to Dr. Petersen.


 IUPAC was formed in 1919 by chemists from industry and academia.  For more than nine decades, the Union has succeeded in fostering worldwide communications in the chemical sciences and in uniting academic, industrial and public sector chemistry in a common language.  IUPAC is recognized to be the world authority for chemical nomenclature, terminology, standardized methods for measurement, atomic weights, and other critically evaluated data.  In more recent years, IUPAC has been proactive in establishing a wide range of conferences and projects designed to promote and stimulate modern developments in chemistry, and also to assist in aspects of chemical education and the public understanding of chemistry.

 More information about IUPAC and its activities is available at www.iupac.org.