Cynthia Atherton has been a program director for the Science Program since 2010. She leads the $300 million Caltech and the $250 million Thirty Meter Telescope commitments. She also serves as lead on a variety of Science “standalone” grants in areas as far-ranging as Astrophysics, Geology, Condensed Matter Physics, Remote Sensing, and Sustainable Energy Technology, and helps to define new areas of interest for Foundation science investments. Prior to this, she was the senior program officer for Science at the Moore Foundation from 2008-2010.
Before joining the Foundation, Cynthia worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the Chemistry, Materials, and Life Sciences Directorate.She served as principal investigator for numerous projects, and developed, ran and analyzed global atmospheric computer simulations to understand the role of energy-based emissions on the troposphere and stratosphere. Cynthia has published numerous journal articles and invited book chapters on her work, and presented them in talks nationally and internationally. She also developed and co-chaired a biweekly atmospheric science seminar series. Cynthia served on the National Research Council Committee on Atmospheric Chemistry from 1999-2001.
Cynthia also has extensive community service and volunteer experience, leading wilderness adventures and serving as a counselor for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts in Northern California, and teaching after-school science to elementary students.
Cynthia earned her Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from the University of California, Davis, M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and B.S. in Engineering and Applied Science from the California Institute of Technology.
Dr. Vicki Chandler is the chief program officer for the Foundation's Science Program, investing in the development of new technologies, supporting top research scientists and bringing together new, often groundbreaking, scientific partnerships. The program’s portfolio—designed to advance scientific innovation and discovery—includes the Marine Microbiology Initiative, a plant science collaboration with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a new Data-Driven Discovery Initiative and commitments to the California Institute of Technology and Thirty Meter Telescope.
Prior to coming to the Foundation, Vicki served as director of the BIO5 Institute at the University of Arizona, a prominent interdisciplinary research center that addresses leading edge research and translates that research to applications in medicine and agriculture. At UA, she was a Regents’ Professor in the departments of Plant Sciences and Molecular and Cellular Biology and held the Carl E. and Patricia Weiler Endowed Chair for Excellence in Agriculture and Life Sciences. Her pioneering research investigated the regulation of gene expression in plants and animals.
Vicki serves as president-elect for the Genetics Society of America, and has been honored with the Presidential Young Investigator Award, the National Science Foundation Faculty Award for Women Scientists and Engineers, the National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award, and was named a Searle Scholar. Vicki is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and has served on national advisory boards and panels for the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, National Institutes of Health, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She served on the National Science Foundation Biological Directorate Advisory Committee from 2001-2004, the National Research Council Committee on Defining and Advancing the Conceptual Basis of Biological Science and was elected to the governing council of the National Academy of Sciences in 2007. Vicki has chaired or co-chaired several national conferences, and has served in an editorial capacity for journals including Plant Physiology, Genetics, Science, and the Annual Review of Plant Biology. She is a member of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the American Society of Plant Biologists, the Genetics Society of America, the International Society of Plant Molecular Biology, and the Rosalind Franklin Society. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Genetics Society and the International Society Plant Molecular Biology, and was President of the American Society of Plant Biologists.
Vicki has a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of California, San Francisco and a B. A . in biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley.