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Córdova Receives OSA Advocate of Optics Award

Photonics Spectra
May 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Optical Society (OSA) has awarded its 2017 Advocate of Optics recognition to France A. Córdova, director of the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Córdova was chosen as OSA’s 2017 Advocate of Optics for her “public policy leadership and efforts in support of the advancement of the science of light,” particularly her efforts in observational and experimental astrophysics.

In addition to her role at NSF, Córdova is well known for her work in the fields of space-borne instrumentation and x-ray and gamma ray source research. Currently, she is president emerita of Purdue University and chancellor emerita of University of California, Riverside. Previously, she served as chair of the Smithsonian Institution’s Board of Regents, as NASA’s chief scientist and on the National Science Board.

“The National Science Foundation began supporting early studies of one of the first optics-based interferometers, called LIGO, in 1975,” Córdova said. “Throughout my career, I have worked with organizations with deep roots in the optical sciences. The NSF’s continued involvement in the LIGO Collaboration is another way that optics is moving us forward in astrophysics and I am honored to be recognized with this year’s Advocate of Optics recognition.”

Córdova has also received NASA’s Distinguished Service Medal and is a Kilby Laureate. In addition to these accolades, she had been awarded seven honorary doctorates and has been published over 150 times.

“France has helped raise the profile of optical science to the national level by showcasing the tremendous potential of optics in gravitational wave breakthroughs like LIGO,” said Eric Mazur, OSA president. “Throughout her career, her research, leadership and dedication to promoting optical sciences makes her a wonderful choice for the OSA Advocate of Optics recognition.”

OSA is a professional organization for scientists, engineers, students and business leaders who accelerate achievements in the science of light.

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