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ACS News

Thomas Connelly to retire as ACS CEO

After more than 7 years of service, Connelly will retire at the end of 2022

by Bibiana Campos Seijo
May 31, 2022


Thomas Connelly.
Credit: Peter Cutts Photography
Thomas Connelly.

American Chemical Society chief executive officer Thomas Connelly will retire at the end of 2022 after more than 7 years of service as its CEO. ACS publishes C&EN.

“Tom has provided strong leadership for ACS throughout his tenure, especially over the past two years as we experienced a once in a lifetime challenge due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Paul W. Jagodzinski, chair of the ACS Board of Directors, in a press release. “We look forward to Tom’s continued leadership through the rest of 2022 and wish him all the best as he enters the next chapter of his life in 2023.”

Connelly joined ACS in February 2015. Connelly’s accomplishments since then include the continued growth of the ACS Publications portfolio of journals, expansion of the innovation pipeline at CAS, and launch of new education offerings. In addition, during his tenure, Connelly has overseen the refinement and expansion of the organization’s core values, which now include safety and ethics under the core value of professionalism, along with equity under the core value of diversity, inclusion and respect. He also led the transformation of ACS membership with the launch of a new membership model earlier this year and greater emphasis on international activities and collaborations intended to grow ACS’s influence and impact around the world.

More recently, Connelly led the establishment of four strategic initiatives designed “to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people.”

ACS will invest up to $50 million over 5 years on activities centered on sustainability, fostering a skilled technical workforce, and enhancing the value and accessibility of scientific data collections.

“I am honored to have served for what will be nearly 8 years leading ACS staff,” Connelly said in an email sent to all ACS staff. “It is now time for me to retire and enjoy more time with my family and friends. I will stay active professionally, as an ACS member.”

Prior to becoming CEO of ACS, Connelly spent 37 years at the DuPont chemical company, where he held a number of roles throughout his tenure, including chief innovation officer. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2016.

The ACS Board of Directors will start the search for a new CEO immediately. The Board intends to identify a successor before the end of the year to ensure continuity.


This article was updated on June 2, 2022, to correct the amount the American Chemical Society plans to invest in four strategic initiatives over 5 years. It is up to $50 million, not $5 million.



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