On July 15, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) announced that AAAS CEO Rush Holt will be on leave prior to his designated retirement date of September 1, 2019. Former AAAS CEO Alan Leshner has been named Acting CEO as the search for Holt’s permanent successor continues. Holt had announced in February of his intention to retire sometime later in 2019, sparking an international search for a new AAAS chief (read COSSA’s previous coverage).
Leshner served as AAAS CEO for 13 years prior to Holt’s tenure. He has served in a wide variety of leadership roles in federal science agencies including as director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), deputy and acting director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and numerous senior roles at the National Science Foundation (NSF). Leshner was the kickoff speaker at COSSA’s 2019 Social Science Advocacy Day training seminar earlier this spring. More information may be found on the AAAS website.