Research Board Vice Chair
Associate Provost for Marine and Environmental Initiatives of Florida Atlantic University
Executive Director of Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute
Dr. Margaret Leinen is the Associate Provost for Marine and Environmental Initiatives of Florida Atlantic University and Executive Director of Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute. Dr. Leinen is also a well-known researcher in paleo-oceanography and paleo-climatology. Her work focuses on ocean sediments and their relationship to global biogeochemical cycles and the history of the Earth’s climate and she has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers.
Dr. Leinen served as the Assistant Director for Geosciences at the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) between 2000 and 2007. The Geosciences Directorate, with an annual budget of $700M, funds research in ocean, atmospheric and earth science in the United States. Leinen also directed NSF’s Environmental Research and Education (ERE) efforts, which coordinated the portfolio of environmental programs across NSF, involving all directorates and offices.
During her time in US government, Leinen served as Chair of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and Vice Chair of the later Climate Change Science Program, the interagency program responsible for coordinating federal climate change research. She also co-chaired the National Science and Technology Council’s Joint Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology, at which she had a leadership role in the development of the Ocean Research Priorities Plan for the US government.
Before going to the National Science Foundation, Dr. Leinen was Dean, Graduate School of Oceanography and Vice Provost for Marine and Environmental Programs at the University of Rhode Island. She also served as the President of the Climate Response Fund, a nonprofit organization formed to foster discussion of climate intervention research (sometimes called geoengineering or climate engineering) and to decrease the risk that these techniques might be called on or deployed before they are adequately understood and regulated. Dr. Leinen also spent two years in the corporate sector where she served as the Chief Science Officer of Climos, Inc., a start-up company focused on developing technology for climate mitigation.
Dr. Leinen is the Past-Chair of the Atmospheric and Hydrospheric Science Section of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science. She is a past president of The Oceanography Society. She serves on the Board of Directors of the American Geophysical Union, as well as the boards of the National Council for Science and the Environment and the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON). Dr. Leinen also served as the Vice Chair of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme and on the Board on Global Change of the National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Leinen is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Geological Society of America and has been awarded Distinguished Alumni Awards from all three of the universities she attended as a student, University of Illinois, Oregon State University and University of Rhode Island.