Marinda Li Wu of Orinda, Calif., is the 2013 president of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society. She is the first Asian American and only the eighth woman to serve as president in the Society’s 137-year history.
As part of her presidential theme, Partners for Progress and Prosperity, Wu’s priorities include:
- Concentrating on members’ needs and interests
- Collaborating to enhance the global chemistry enterprise
- Communicating the value and benefits of chemistry to society
- Celebrating diversity and inclusivity
As president-elect in 2012, Wu commissioned a task force, Vision 2025: Helping ACS Members Thrive in the Global Chemistry Enterprise, with the goal of helping chemists to find jobs and succeed in the changing world marketplace. The task force recommendations will be widely shared at the ACS national meeting this spring in New Orleans, and a number of presidential events and symposia will also take place at that meeting.
“Serving members’ interests is my top priority,” says Wu. “I will continue to visit members, both domestic and overseas, to hear their suggestions and ideas. I also find it immensely rewarding to meet and talk with students and members of the entire science and technology community.”
Promoting public outreach and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education has long been a passion for Wu. She was inspired many years ago to launch the first “Family Science Night” with a successful partnership between the Orinda Union School District and the local California Section of ACS. Since 1997, the California Section of ACS has worked with school districts around the Bay Area to offer popular Family Science Night programs to many hundreds of school-age children and parents.
Wu also introduced popular Science Café programs for the general public in Orinda restaurants several years ago. More recently, in a partnership between the Lafayette Library and Learning Center Foundation (LLLCF) and the California ACS Section, monthly Science Café programs attract large crowds to the Lafayette Library Community Hall with popular topics ranging from the “Science of Steinway and Sound” to “The Science of Art Conservation and the Sacred Art of Bhutan.”
Wu graduated from The Ohio State University, with a B.S. cum laude with distinction in chemistry in 1971 and earned her Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from the University of Illinois in 1976.
She lives in Orinda, Calif., with her husband, Norm. Their two grown children, Lori, who is married to Stanford classmate Evan Malahy, and Will recently moved back to the San Francisco Bay Area to work, after earning their Ph.D. and B.S. degrees respectively.