Gilda Barabino Selected to Lead the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Gilda Barabino, president of the Olin College of Engineering in Needham, Massachusetts, has been selected as president-elect of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The AAAS is the world’s largest scientific society. After serving for one year as president-elect, Dr. Barabino will serve one year as AAAS president and then one year as chair of the AAAS Board of Directors.

“We are at a moment of opportunity to reimagine and reshape the world we live in and to chart the path for sustaining its future,” Dr. Barabino said. “In order to achieve a sustainable future, we must be willing to expand the boundaries of science and to challenge and disrupt conventions. Facing future challenges of unprecedented magnitude and complexity, ranging from infectious disease and systemic racism pandemics to climate change and global inequality, science can serve as a global public good and equalizer. AAAS as an enabling organization is positioned to lead the scientific and broader community toward science and engineering solutions to ensure a healthy, prosperous, secure and just society.”

A respected researcher in the study of sickle cell disease, Dr. Barabino became president of the Olin College of Engineering in 2020. She also serves as a biomedical and chemical engineering professor at Olin. Earlier she was dean of the Grove School of Engineering at the City College of New York. Previously, she taught at Georgia Tech, Emory University, and Northeastern University.

A native of Anchorage, Alaska, Dr. Barabino is a graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana, where she majored in chemistry. She holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Rice University in Houston. She was the first African American woman admitted to the graduate program in chemical engineering at Rice University. In 1986, she was the fifth African American woman in the nation to obtain a doctorate in chemical engineering.


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