Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory physicist Kennedy Reed has been elected president-designate of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP).
Reed, who was elected at the group’s general assembly meeting held in Singapore in November, is the first American elected to head this global physics organization since Nobel Laureate Burton Richter, who was president of IUPAP from 1999 to 2002.
“I am honored to be elected to this position,” Reed said. “It’s a lot of responsibility, but I’m prepared for the challenges.”
Reed will serve a three-year term as president-designate, followed by a three-year term as the president of IUPAP, culminating with a three-year term as the physics organization’s past president.
IUPAP assists in the worldwide development of physics, fosters international cooperation in physics, and helps in the application of physics toward solving problems of concern to humanity.
Sixty countries are members of IUPAP, and the executive council supervises the activities of IUPAP’s 19 specialized international commissions that cover the major sub-disciplines of physics, such as plasma physics, astrophysics and atomic physics, and four affiliated commissions, such as medical physics, acoustics and optics.
Reed served on the IUPAP Commission on Physics for Development for nine years and was the chair of that commission for three years. This commission seeks to improve the conditions of physics and physicists in developing regions of the world.
Reed is a leader in national efforts to increase opportunities for minority students and professionals in the sciences in the U.S., and has helped develop and direct programs that have expanded research and training opportunities enabling students to pursue advanced degrees in physical science disciplines.
In addition to other international scientific work, Reed has been a visiting scientist at the Hahn-Meitner Institute in Berlin, and at University College London.
Through the auspices of the International Center for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy, he has been a visiting scientist in the West African countries of Senegal and Ghana, and also has been involved with physical science programs in numerous African countries.
Reed served as vice chair of the American Physical Society’s (APS) Committee on International Scientific Affairs, and was awarded the APS John Wheatley Award for his contributions to physics research and education in Africa — the only time this award has been given for work in Africa.
In 2011, he was elected to the executive board of the International Council for Science, a non-governmental organization with a membership of national scientific bodies representing 141 nations and 30 international scientific unions.
Reed is a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
The California-Nevada Section of the APS established the Kennedy Reed Award, which is presented annually to recognize the best theoretical research performed by graduate students.
In 2010, President Obama awarded Reed the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Engineering Mentoring.
An atomic physicist in LLNL’s Physics Division, Reed has worked at the Laboratory for 36 years.
Reed holds a bachelor’s of science degree from Monmouth College in Illinois and a doctorate in physics from the University of Nebraska.
For the past six years IUPAP has been headquartered at the Institute of Physics in London. The headquarters are in the process of moving to Singapore.