Former National Science Foundation official Deborah L. Crawford has been appointed Drexel University’s vice provost for research, Provost Mark Greenberg announced. Crawford will oversee Drexel’s research enterprise. She will begin her tenure at Drexel in September.
“Dr. Crawford will have overall responsibility for guiding the entire research enterprise at Drexel toward greater contributions to human knowledge and wellbeing through interdisciplinary and disciplinary translational research, scholarship and technology transfer,” said Greenberg. “She was selected following a national search for a candidate with exceptional credentials and experience. In every sense of those terms, Dr. Crawford exceeds our expectations.”
Crawford served most recently as NSF’s deputy assistant director for Computer and Information Science and Engineering. With an annual budget of over $600 million, CISE supports fundamental research and education in the computing disciplines, as well as the provision of computing research infrastructure.
At NSF, Crawford managed a number of programs since joining the agency in 1993. She led the Electrical and Communications Systems Division, the Office of Small Business Innovation Research and the Office of the Director. In 2001, she led the implementation of the Math and Science Partnership program, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education. From 2005-2006, the NSF director asked her to establish NSF’s Office of Cyberinfrastructure and she oversaw the agency’s development of the strategic plan. That plan continues to guide the national organization’s investments today.
She has served as NSF’s liaison to the National Science and Technology Council, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the National Institutes of Health. She has twice received the Director’s Award for Distinguished Service, NSF’s highest honorary award. In 2006, she was recognized by the President of the United States for her contributions to science and science policy when she received the Presidential Rank Award.
Prior to joining the NSF, Crawford conducted research in wavelength division multiplexed optical communication systems and in other high bandwidth photonic systems at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. While at the University of California at Santa Barbara, her research interests included electronic and photonic nanostructures, vertical cavity surface emitting lasers, and high-speed photonic components for high bandwidth communications. She spent several years at AT&T Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, N.J., where her research contributions were in the area of monolithic optoelectronic integrated circuits.
A native of Glasgow, Scotland, Crawford earned her Ph.D. in Information Systems Engineering from the University of Bradford, and her B.Sc. (Hons) in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from the University of Glasgow.
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