Steven E. Koonin
Steven E. Koonin was appointed as the founding Director of NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress in April 2012. That consortium of academic, corporate, and government partners will pursue research and education activities to develop and demonstrate informatics technologies for urban problems in the “living laboratory” of New York City.
He previously served as the U.S. Department of Energy’s second Senate-confirmed Under Secretary for Science from May 19, 2009 through November 18, 2011. As the Chief Scientist at BP from 2004 to early 2009, Dr. Koonin developed the long-range technology strategy for alternative and renewable energy sources.
Steve joined the California Institute of Technology’s faculty in 1975, was a research fellow at the Niels Bohr Institute during 1976-1977, and was an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow during 1977-1979. He became a professor of theoretical physics at Caltech in 1981 and served as Chairman of the Faculty from 1989-1991. Dr. Koonin was the seventh provost of Caltech from 1995-2004. In that capacity, he was involved in identifying and recruiting 1/3 of the Institute’s professorial faculty and left an enduring legacy of academic and research initiatives in the biological, physical, earth, and social sciences, as well as the planning and development of the Thirty-Meter Telescope project.