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Robert D. McKeown received a B.S. in physics in 1974 from Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, NY and a Ph.D. in physics from Princeton University in 1979. After one year on the scientific staff at Argonne National Laboratory, McKeown took a position as Assistant Professor of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. He became an Associate Professor in 1986 and a Full Professor in 1992. In 2010 he joined the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility as the Deputy Director for Science and Technology. He also currently holds a Governor's Distinguished CEBAF Professorship at the College of William and Mary. His research interests have included studies of weak interactions in nuclei, neutrino oscillations, parity-violating electron scattering, and the electromagnetic structure of nuclei and nucleons.
While Professor of Physics at Caltech, McKeown and his research group pioneered new techniques using spin-dependent electron scattering to study novel aspects of nucleon structure, including the form factors of the neutron and the role of strange quark-antiquark pairs. As a collaborator on the KamLAND experiment in Japan and the Daya Bay experiment in China, McKeown contributed to important discoveries in neutrino oscillation physics. These collaborations also provided him with experience in the development and execution of international research projects. As Deputy Director of Science and Technology at Jefferson Lab, McKeown oversees the nuclear physics program that includes participation by over 1300 user scientists at this DOE facility.
McKeown received a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator award in 1984, was the Alexander M. Cruickshank Lecturer at the 1999 Gordon Conference on Nuclear Physics, and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. In 2009 he was awarded the APS Tom W. Bonner prize, for "his pioneering work on studying nucleon structure using parity-violating electron scattering, in particular for the first measurement of the strange quark contribution to the electromagnetic structure of the proton." He has served on the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee, the Physical Review C editorial board, the editorial board for Progress in Particle and Nuclear Physics and on advisory committees for Jefferson Lab, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, and Fermilab. He served as the chair of the APS Division of Nuclear Physics in 2012.
The APS is of paramount importance to the community of physicists, providing a forum for our views and aspirations, a first-rate set of publications for documenting and communicating our research, and serving as a valuable motivator for education of the next generation of physicists as well as the broader public. The communication of science to the public has never been more important, as technical and scientific issues loom larger than ever in public policy. We are also witnessing a period of rapid change in scientific publication, and it is essential that the APS maintain its leadership position in this area. It is increasingly evident that science has become a more international enterprise as more countries develop their research capabilities, often in collaboration with the US and other nations with well-established programs. The APS has appropriately embraced a view to develop a more international profile in the future.
It is essential that the officers that participate in the APS governance structure represent the breadth in scientific coverage of the discipline, exhibit the diversity of our research community and the broader public, and also continue to advance the international posture of the Society. As Chair of the Nominating Committee, I would endeavor to implement these principles while also upholding the ideals and standards of the Society.