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For District II director: Kimberly Agnew-Heard

by Kimberly Agnew-Heard, candidate for District II director
September 9, 2022 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 100, Issue 32


Kimberly Agnew-Heard.
Credit: Courtesy of Altria Client Services
Kimberly Agnew-Heard

Virginia Section. Altria Client Services, Richmond, Virginia.

Academic record: Georgia State University, BS, 1992; Louisiana State University, MS, 2000; Georgia State University, PhD, 2002.

Honors: ACS Fellow, 2022; Food and Drug Administration (FDA)/Center for Tobacco Products (CTP), Leadership Excellence Award, 2014; FDA/CTP Leveraging Collaboration Award, 2014; FDA Group Recognition Crosscutting Award, 2014; FDA/CTP Team Excellence Award, 2013; Boston Scientific Interventional Cardiology Research and Development Recognition Award for Outstanding Contributions, 2007; Georgia Association of Special Programs Personnel Trio Achiever Award, 2003; Georgia State University Outstanding Instruction Award, 2001–02; Louisiana State University Board of Regents Fellowship, 1992–96; Georgia State University Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement, 1991–92.

Professional positions (for the past 10 years): Altria Client Services, director, regulatory affairs, 2020–, senior manager, regulatory sciences, 2017–20; FDA, senior chemistry reviewer, 2014–17, chemistry reviewer, 2012–14.

Service in ACS national offices: Society Committee on Project SEED, member, 2015–22, associate member, 2013–14.

Service in ACS offices: Analytical Chemistry Division: immediate past-chair, 2021; chair, 2019–20; program chair, 2018–19; chair-elect, 2017–18; councilor, 2014–17; alternate councilor, 2011–13.

Member: Member of ACS since 1995. ACS local sections: Georgia Local Section; Virginia Local Section; Chemical Society of Washington; Minnesota Local Section; Kansas City Local Section; ACS Divisions: Analytical Chemistry; National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers.

Related activities: Analytical Chemistry Division: Analytical Chemistry Strategic Planning, co-lead, 2019–21; Nomination Committee, lead, 2020–21; established several formal division committees while chair, 2019–21. Cooperation Centre for Scientific Research Relative to Tobacco, Heated Tobacco Task Force member, 2019–20; Committee for the Advancement of FDA Science member, 2014–17; Boston Scientific Bridge (Employee Resource Group) captain, 2011; Boston Scientific STEM Council Member, 2011; Boston Scientific-Park Center International Baccalaureate World High School, eMentor Program, creator and organizer, 2010–11; Osseo School District 279, District Planning Advisory Council member, 2010–11; published 10 journal articles.

Agnew-Heard’s statement

With humble gratitude, I have accepted the nomination for American Chemical Society District II director. I have been actively involved with ACS for over a decade and have been encouraged by the positive changes that have occurred during this time, but there is more work to be done. ACS was the “gold standard” for all chemists decades ago; however, the value proposition of membership, moderate or inadequate public advocacy, competition with smaller niche chemistry organizations, and struggles with diversity and inclusion, have all resulted in a steady, persistent decline in membership. To grow and meet the needs of the modern chemist, ACS must continue to evolve, reinvigorate current members and engage with those who are no longer active in the society. The good news is the largest chemistry organization can and will continue to make a positive impact on students, academia, government, private industry, and chemistry policies.

Who am I? I am an analytical chemist, selected by the Committee on Nominations and Elections, who has over a decade of experience working with ACS on the national level. I take pride in being a first-generation college graduate, born and raised in the Midwest (Ohio), and now working in Richmond, Virginia. I strive to be a change agent focused on working with ACS to best serve its members. I will also strive to help ACS continue to evolve as a chemistry organization that truly reflects and serves all the members.

Membership value to all chemists. Today, many chemists question the purpose of being an ACS member. I get it! I recall joining ACS and the excitement of attending conferences in graduate school. Since that time, I have questioned whether I should continue to be involved with ACS. There is no question that ACS provides an opportunity to volunteer and present innovative research. However, I often wonder, does ACS provide the level of support for chemists at all stages of their careers? What about those who are not in academia? Does ACS inform me and advocate for me when it relates to chemistry in governmental policies? Awareness must be raised to highlight the value of ACS membership for those in non-traditional chemistry careers, as well as those who do not actively participate in publishing primary literature. Most importantly, does ACS currently invest enough energy in publicizing to the general public the importance of chemistry to the world, economy, and innovative advancements?

Working with the Project SEED committee has been extremely rewarding in providing first generation and underserved high school students an opportunity to conduct research. Additionally, the ACS Younger Chemists Committee and Women Chemists Committee are active and vibrant. Students are the future of ACS, and we must continue to nurture and engage them, as well as continue to keep them actively involved throughout their careers. Many mid-career chemists tend to experience competing priorities and question what ACS has to offer for them. Most practicing chemists are not in academia—does ACS have anything to offer mid-career, non-academic chemists? How do we redefine the value proposition for the modern chemist? These are questions I hope to tackle as a director.

Continue advocating for diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect (DEIR). Membership and volunteerism have decreased over the past decade and ACS has become less diverse—in age, race, education, and professions among others. Members, internationally and in the US, want to be involved with an organization that makes them feel included and appreciated. There has been a stronger push to raise awareness of DEIR and now it is time for more action. An organization is only as strong as its weakest link. How do we increase DEIR with students and in academia who are our pipeline for the future? Alternatively, are there opportunities to reengage diverse mid-career chemists and retirees? I strongly encourage and advocate for the DEIR of chemists at all levels and backgrounds. The future state is to have a space for all who want to positively contribute to the success of ACS and advocate for the advancement of chemistry.

In contemplating my future involvement with ACS, my resolve is steadfast to be part of the solution to help ACS rise and serve all chemists. My charge as director will be to advocate, raise awareness of the issues our members are facing, and foster opportunities within ACS that encourage and welcome all chemists in today’s landscape. For more information contact me on or visit


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