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For director-at-large: Carolyn Ribes

by Carolyn Ribes, candidate for director-at-large
September 8, 2023 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 101, Issue 30


This is a photo of Carolyn Ribes.
Credit: Courtesy of Carolyn Ribes
Carolyn Ribes

Brazosport Section. Dow, Terneuzen, the Netherlands.

Academic record: University of Buffalo, BS, 1983, PhD, 1989.

Honors: ACS Award for Volunteer Service to the American Chemical Society, 2019; ACS Fellow, 2014; PRISM Award, Society of Women Engineers, 2021; International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) Distinguished Women in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering, 2011; Phi Beta Kappa.

Professional positions (for the past 10 years): Dow, Industrial Intermediates and Infrastructure, business envelope analytical leader, 2019–; Dow Coating Materials, business analytical leader, 2016–19; Analytical Technology Center, business analytical leader, 2009–16; Analytical Sciences R&D, technical leader, 2006–09.

Service in ACS national offices: Board of Directors, director-at-large, ex officio councilor, 2021–23; Committee on Public Affairs and Public Relations, 2022–23; ACS Green Chemistry Institute, Advisory Board, 2022–24; Committee on Professional and Member Relations, 2021; Committee on Committees, 2016–21, chair 2018–20; Task Force on Governance Design, 2017–18; Council Policy Committee, (nonvoting), 2018–20, (voting) 2010–15, vice chair, 2011–13; Committee on Science, 2006–09, chair, 2007–09; Women Chemists Committee, 2000–05, chair, 2003–05, committee associate, 1999; Younger Chemists Committee, 1995–98, chair, 1997–98, committee associate, 1994; Progress Steering Team, 2002–05; International Strategy Implementation Group, 2008; Committee on Planning, 2010–15; Joint Subcommittee on Diversity, chair, 2006–07; Sustainability Stakeholders Steering Group, 2009–10.

Service in ACS offices: Brazosport Section: councilor, 2006–20, alternate councilor, 2000–05; Baton Rouge Section: alternate councilor, 1997, chair, 1992, chair-elect, 1991; Analytical Chemistry Division: treasurer, 1999–2004.

Member: Member of ACS since 1983. IUPAC. ACS Divisions: Professional Relations; Analytical Chemistry.

Related activities: IUPAC Committee on Chemistry and Industry, chair, 2018–19, secretary, 2014–17; IUPAC US National Committee, 2004–12, chair, 2010–11; IUPAC Committee on Chemistry and Industry, US representative, 2007–12; multiple spring and fall ACS meetings and IUPAC World Chemistry Congresses, symposia organizer; authored 7 publications and more than 100 Dow internal publications; holds two patents on analytical devices.

Ribes’s statement

I am honored to be a candidate for director-at-large of the American Chemical Society. What do I bring to the ACS Board of Directors? I am a systems-level strategic thinker, results-​ oriented, and I bring a global perspective. I’m an industrial chemist and I have been a passionate ACS volunteer and leader for over 30 years. I have broad leadership experience in local sections, the Analytical Division, multiple committees, and one term of service on the board. During the past 3 years on the board, I have come to understand and appreciate its myriad accountabilities, including fiduciary responsibility for the entire organization, setting the ACS strategic direction, and assuring that ACS continues to be the premier chemical society and information provider for the world.

Focus on the role of science in improving the world

I believe in our mission to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and all its people. Many of the UN’s sustainable development goals will be met through the contributions and actions of chemists. As a member of the board, I’ve worked with my fellow members to advocate for federal funding for research, STEM education, and infrastructure enabling science and technology to deliver solutions to these challenges. Our board has invested in the Campaign for a Sustainable Future. As a member of the Advisory Board of the Green Chemistry Institute, I’m proud to see the progress that has been made in just 2 years, aligning with, and expanding ACS efforts in green chemistry.

Focus on members and volunteers

The transformation of our membership model provides multiple ways for the chemistry community to engage with ACS. We value our members, and we want to deliver against their diverse needs and interests. ACS is blessed with many energetic, passionate, and dedicated volunteers, and we strive to deliver a positive volunteer experience. We need to find ways to meet future volunteers where they are and provide opportunities for all members to engage. We can create different models and mechanisms for members to have an impact aligned with their purpose. This will pay dividends for our society and the profession. I’ll share two examples from my experience. Several years ago, I chaired a volunteer team assembled from eight committees that organized a sustainability engagement event to brainstorm and trial potential programs for ACS. I led the Joint Subcommittee on Diversity, which was a self-assembled body with representatives from several committees with a shared commitment to advance inclusion in ACS. Together, we wrote the first ACS diversity statement.

ACS value proposition: Our membership numbers over the past several years indicate gaps in recruiting and retaining members, including industrial members and recent graduates. We need to enhance how we present our value proposition to potential members and their employers, outlining professional and personal development opportunities and how we improve the world.

Focus on core values

A culture of inclusion: Our ACS core values provide the compass that guides our path. Combined with our vision and mission, these provide the framework for all our objectives and goals. I want ACS to be the professional home for all chemical professionals. We do this by enabling our members to feel that they belong, and that ACS values them. We need to continue our quest to be inclusive and equitable and respect all members. We’ve made improvements, yet there are still formal and informal barriers within our organization. During my terms on the Younger Chemists and Women Chemists Committees, Joint Subcommittee on Diversity, Council Policy Committee, and the Committee on Committees, I worked to remove barriers to participation and improve inclusion in ACS. I’ve continued this effort during my first term on the board, as a member of Professional and Member Relations, and as chair of the Board Working Group on Structure and Representation.

Safety: As an industrial chemist, I know that safety is a critical core value. We need to continue to lead the efforts to provide programs that elevate a physically and psychologically safe environment for ACS members and across the chemistry enterprise.

As you cast your ballot this year, I ask you to consider “who will continue to make a difference?” The impact of my contributions has strengthened ACS and improved the volunteer and member experience, and I ask for your vote to continue to deliver positive long-term impacts for ACS.

For more information, visit To contact this candidate, email


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