Bassam Z. Shakhashiri was named president of The American Chemical Society, effective January 1, 2012. Shakhashiri, a chemistry professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was elected in 2010 to serve a three-year term on the board of directors as president-elect in 2011, president in 2012, and immediate past president in 2013.
Shakhashiri's presidential theme for 2012 is "Advancing Chemistry and Communicating Chemistry," which captures his commitment to support basic research, education, and innovation and to communicate the values and role of chemical sciences to the general public. Shakhashiri seeks to showcase chemistry at its best: highlighting its role in addressing significant human and societal issues.
As part of his presidential theme, Shakhashiri has four specific goals: 1) foster public understanding of the science of climate change; 2) ensure graduate programs are preparing students for future careers that are critical to ensure U.S. prosperity; 3) increase the number of highly qualified high school chemistry teachers through fellowships for chemistry undergraduates; and 4) celebrate the sesquicentennial of the Morrill Land Grant Act.
Shakhashiri is the first holder of the William T. Evjue Distinguished Chair for the Wisconsin Idea at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he has been a professor since 1970. In 1983, he was the founding director of the Institute for Chemical Education. Shakhashiri serves as a national and international consultant to government agencies, academic institutions, industry, and private foundations on policy and practice matters related to science and education.