Cynthia M. Friend elected next president of The Kavli Foundation in the United States

November 18, 2020
Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU)

On November 18, 2020 (November 17, local time), The Kavli Foundation in the United States announced that Dr. Cynthia M. Friend will be the next president of the Foundation. Dr. Friend will succeed Dr. Robert W. Conn, the second and presiding president, who will retire on 31 December 2020, to become the third president of the Foundation on January 1, 2021.

Dr. Friend has been a faculty member at Harvard University since 1982, and has held numerous leadership positions, including Chair of the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. She is also Director of The Rowland Institute at Harvard, a privately funded, non-profit, basic research organization conceived to advance science. Previously, Dr. Friend was Associate Lab Director at the SLAC National Accelerator Lab. 

Dr. Friend has published more than 300 papers. A research group led by her at Harvard University focuses on addressing global challenges in reducing energy costs and developing alternative energy sources. She has served as research advisor to more than 75 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, many of whom are leaders in academia and industry. Dr. Friend has also led the transformation of universities and other organizations to promote diversity.

“It is an honor to join The Kavli Foundation as president. The foundation provides an exciting opportunity to foster and support science for the benefit of humankind now and in the future. I am looking forward to working in partnership with The Kavli Foundation staff and with scientific leaders around the world,” Dr. Friend said. 

“I couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Cynthia Friend as the next president of The Kavli Foundation. She will now lead one of the world’s most consequential science-focused foundations. Over 20 years, The Kavli Foundation has endowed 20 Kavli Institutes at leading research universities around the world, established the distinguished Kavli Prizes in neuroscience, nanoscience and astrophysics, and developed a reputation as an important catalyzer, convener and enabler in advancing science and strengthening the connection between science and society. I have every confidence in her ability to lead the foundation into its third decade, building on the outstanding work of the foundation’s board, its staff and all of our partners,” said presiding president Dr. Conn. 

For more, see The Kavli Foundation’s press release: