Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions

IYC 2011

The panelists of Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions with CHF president and CEO Thomas R. Tritton.

On February 1, 2011, CHF hosted the U.S. launch of the International Year of Chemistry (IYC 2011) with the panel discussion Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions, as prominent leaders from industry and academia gathered to discuss and debate solutions to the pressing issues of energy, water, food, and human health.

Watch the archived webcast and view a slide show of photos of this blockbuster event.

Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions was presented by CHF in collaboration with the American Chemical Society, the American Chemistry Council, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the National Academies.


  • Daniel G. Nocera (moderator), Henry Dreyfus Professor of Energy and Professor of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Joshua S. Boger, Founder, former Chair and CEO, current Board Member, Vertex Pharmaceuticals
  • Rita Colwell, Chairman, Canon U.S. Life Sciences; Distinguished University Professor, University of Maryland at College Park and Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Janet Hering, Director, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology; Professor of Environmental Biogeochemistry, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich; Professor of Environmental Chemistry, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne
  • Ellen Kullman, Chair and CEO, DuPont
  • Andrew N. Liveris, President, Chair, and CEO, The Dow Chemical Company

About the panelists:

Daniel G. Nocera (moderator)

Daniel Nocera

Daniel G. Nocera is the Henry Dreyfus Professor of Energy, director of the Eni Solar Frontiers Center, and director of the Solar Revolutions Project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His group pioneered studies of the basic mechanisms of energy conversion in biology and chemistry, with primary focus in recent years on the generation of solar fuels.

He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. He was named as one of Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World.

Nocera is a frequent guest expert on TV and radio programs and is regularly featured in print publications. His PBS NOVA show on fuels cells was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2006. He worked with Robert Krulwich of ABC News to develop the pilot that was used to launch the PBS NOVA show “ScienceNow.” He also worked with Krulwich and the Web designer OddTodd to develop the five part-series “The Lifestyle of Carbon.” In 2008 he founded Sun Catalytix, a company committed to bringing personalized energy to the non-legacy world.

Nocera holds a B.Sc. from Rutgers University and a Ph.D. from California Institute of Technology.

Joshua S. Boger

Joshua Boger

Joshua S. Boger founded Vertex Pharmaceuticals in 1989. Boger was CEO of Vertex from 1992 until May 2009. He served in the additional role of chairman of the board from 1997 until 2006. Immediately before he founded Vertex, he was senior director of basic chemistry at Merck Sharp and Dohme Research Laboratories. Boger began his industry career at Merck in 1978, where he ultimately headed both the Department of Biophysical Chemistry and the Department of Medicinal Chemistry of Immunology and Inflammation.

Boger holds a B.A. in chemistry and philosophy from Wesleyan University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry from Harvard University. His postdoctoral research in molecular recognition was performed in the laboratories of the Nobel laureate chemist Jean-Marie Lehn in Strasbourg, France.  

He is the author of over 50 scientific publications, holds 32 U.S. patents in pharmaceutical discovery and development, and has lectured widely in the United States, Europe, and Asia on various aspects of drug discovery and development. Boger is chair of the board of trustees of Wesleyan University, immediate past-chairman of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, and a founding director and chairman of the New England Healthcare Institute. He was named one of 40 Technology Pioneers worldwide for the 2003 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Rita Colwell

Rita Colwell

Rita Colwell is chairman of Canon U.S. Life Sciences and Distinguished University Professor both at the University of Maryland at College Park and at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her interests are focused on global infectious diseases, water, and health.

Colwell was the director of the National Science Foundation from 1998 to 2004. In this capacity she served as co-chair of the Committee on Science of the National Science and Technology Council. She has authored or co-authored 16 books and more than 700 scientific publications. She produced the award-winning film Invisible Seas and has served on editorial boards of numerous scientific journals.

Before going to the National Science Foundation, Colwell was professor of microbiology and biotechnology at the University Maryland and president of the university’s Biotechnology Institute. She was also a member of the National Science Board from 1984 to 1990.

Colwell has served as chairman of the board of governors of the American Academy of Microbiology and president of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the International Union of Microbiological Societies. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society.

Colwell holds a B.S. in bacteriology and an M.S. in genetics from Purdue University and a Ph.D. in oceanography from the University of Washington.

Janet Hering

Janet Hering

Janet Hering is the director of the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology; professor of environmental biogeochemistry at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich; and professor of environmental chemistry at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne. Her research interests include the biogeochemical cycling of trace elements in natural waters and water-treatment technologies for the removal of inorganic contaminants from potable water. Her research has been funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the American Water Works Association Research Foundation, California Sea Grant, the Petroleum Research Foundation, the University of California Water Resources Center, the Chevron Research and Technology Company, and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

From 1996 to 2006 Hering was a professor of environmental science and engineering at the California Institute of Technology, where she also served as executive officer for the Keck Laboratories for Bioengineering, Environmental Science and Engineering, and Materials Science from 2003 to 2006. Before 1996 she was an assistant and later associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles. She holds an B.A. in chemistry from Cornell University, an M.A. in chemistry from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology-Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program.

Hering has published numerous papers, and she is the co-author of the book Principles and Applications of Aquatic Chemistry. She is a past recipient of the U.S. National Science Foundation’s Young Investigator Award and Presidential Faculty Fellows Award. From 2004 to 2007 she was an associate editor for the journal Environmental Science & Technology, a publication of the American Chemical Society. She currently serves as a member of the board of reviewing editors for Science.

Ellen Kullman

Ellen Kullman

Ellen Kullman is chair of the board and CEO of DuPont. She has previously served as president, executive vice president, and a member of the company's office of the chief executive.

Kullman began her career at DuPont in 1988 as a marketing manager. She served as business director for several DuPont businesses, including White Pigment and Mineral Products, where she became vice president and general manager in 1995. She assumed leadership of two high-growth businesses, DuPont Safety Resources in 1998 and Bio-Based Materials in 1999. She was named group vice president of DuPont Safety and Protection in 2002. In 2006 she was named executive vice president with responsibility for three business platforms and several functions, including marketing and sales. In 2008 she was tapped to lead the company's focus on growth in emerging international markets.

Kullman holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Tufts University and a master’s degree in management from Northwestern University.

A member of the Tufts board of trustees, Kullman also serves on the board of overseers at Tufts University School of Engineering. She is a member of the U.S.-India CEO Forum, the Business Council, and the executive committee of SCI-America. She is co-chair of the National Academy of Engineering Committee on Changing the Conversation: From Research to Action.

Andrew N. Liveris

Andrew Liveris

Andrew N. Liveris is president, chairman, and CEO of The Dow Chemical Company. Liveris's 34-year Dow career has spanned manufacturing, engineering, sales, marketing, and business and general management. He has spent the bulk of his career in Asia, where he was general manager for the company's operations in Thailand and later president of all Asia-Pacific operations. He began his Dow career in 1976 in Australia.

Liveris received a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. He is a chartered engineer and a fellow of the Institute of Chemical Engineers, as well as a fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

Liveris serves on the board of directors of IBM and Citigroup. He is president of the International Council of Chemical Associations; vice chairman of the Business Council; a member of the executive committee of the Business Roundtable; a member of the President's Export Council, the U.S.-India CEO Forum, the Peterson Institute for International Economics, and the American Australian Association; and a trustee of Tufts University.

This program has been supported by the Albemarle Foundation.

Webcasting services were provided by The Dow Chemical Company with support from the American Chemical Society.

For additional information about IYC 2011, please visit

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