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For director-at-large: Dawn A. Brooks

by Dawn A. Brooks
September 4, 2020 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 98, Issue 34


This is a photo of Dawn A. Brooks.
Credit: Bass Photo Co.
Dawn A. Brooks

Indiana Section. Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Academic record: Ohio Northern University, BS chemistry, 1993; Indiana University, PhD organic chemistry, 1998

Honors: ACS Fellow, 2014; Distinguished Service Award, Indiana Section, ACS, 2006; Eli Lilly and Company, Progress Through Research Award, 2019; Healthcare Businesswomen Association, Rising Star Award, 2008; United Way of Central Indiana, Emerging Leaders 2009–15; Lilly Research Laboratories, Top 100 Innovators, 2013; Lilly Research Laboratories, Quality Pinnacle Award, 2009; Lilly Research Laboratories, Women in Leadership, 2008; Lilly Research Laboratories, Six Sigma Alumni of the Year, 2007; Lilly Research Laboratories, Six Sigma Black Belt of the Year, 2006; Women Chemists Committee/Eli Lilly Travel Award, 1997; Abbott Graduate Fellow, 1996–97; DuPont Associate Institute Teaching Award, 1995; Department of Education National Needs Fellow, 1993–94; Mortar Board Honor Society, Ohio Northern University, 1992–93.

Professional positions (for past 10 years): Eli Lilly and Company: global brand development leader (diabetes business unit), 2019–; senior adviser/chief operations officer, endocrine research, 2014–19; adviser, diabetes clinical development, 2012–14; Lilly Research Laboratories (business operations), senior director, 2009–12; API operations, senior director, 2007–09; Six Sigma Black Belt, 2005–06; head of Chemistry, 2002–05; research scientist, 2002; senior organic chemist, discovery chemical research/chemical process and development, 1998–2001.

Service in ACS national offices: Committee on Committees, 2009–15, chair, 2012–13; Council Policy Committee, 2012–14; Women Chemists Committee, 2001–09, chair, 2009, committee associate, 1999–2000; Committee on Corporation Associates, 2005–12; Joint Subcommittee on Diversity, 2007; Collaboration of Committees Working Group, 2006.

Service in ACS offices: Indiana Section: trustee, 2015–, councilor, 2007–15, alternate councilor, 2004–06, chair, 2002, chair-elect, 2001; 2013 ACS Fall National Meeting Executive Lead Team, 2012–13, Volunteer and Hospitality chair, 2012–13; Women Chemists Committee, chair, 2002–12. Southern Indiana Section: secretary, 1996; interim treasurer, 1996; membership chair, 1994; outreach program coordinator, 1994–96.

Member: Member of ACS since 1993. American Diabetes Association; United Way; Washington Township Swim Club Board, 2016–18, chair, 2017–18; Healthcare Businesswomen Association; Mortar Board Honor Society. ACS Divisions: Medicinal Chemistry and Organic Chemistry.

Related Activities: Science Education Foundation of Indiana Executive board member, 2002–11; Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, judging coordinator and chemical caucus leader, 2006; ; National Science Foundation Joint US Japan Workshop on Sustainable Chemistry, 2005; National Organic Symposium, Planning Committee, 2003; NSF Workshop on Organic Chemistry, 2002; Ohio Northern University, Arts and Science Advisory Board, 2001–12, chair 2008–10; Ohio Northern University, Student Affiliates, President, 1990–1991, Treasurer, 1989–90; Technical Peer Reviewer for Organic Letters, Journal of Organic Chemistry, Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Bioorganic Medicinal Chemistry Letters; published 11 journal articles, one textbook chapter; holds five patents in diabetes research.

Brooks’s statement

The American Chemical Society is the place we look to for information services, technologies, and opportunities to come together, first as students and later as we evolve into professionals who solve global challenges and educate the chemists of tomorrow. I directly credit the ACS Women Chemists Committee (WCC) for providing the travel award that brought me to my first ACS national meeting as a graduate student where I presented my thesis research, which resulted in a networking opportunity that landed me my first professional position. Since my early days at Eli Lilly and Company, I have worked to pay it forward to advance women and underrepresented minorities in the chemical workforce, and I would commit to continuing these efforts as a board member.

During three terms on the WCC, I expanded the WCC Travel Award program to a level that has impacted over 700 young women during a rich 30-year history. As the chair of the WCC, I partnered with other like-minded committees to achieve the ACS Diversity statement adopted in 2007.

It would be an honor to serve the society as a director-at large and apply my passion, leadership skills, and business expertise in support of the thoughtfully developed ACS Strategic Plan and Goals. My 6 years on the elected Committee on Committees included 3 years as the committee chair and budget and finance liaison. This has provided me the opportunity to work closely with ACS officers and executive staff to understand how to effectively accomplish priorities. Through this service I also developed the required working knowledge of the ACS budget and operations. Coupled with my senior business leadership experience in industry, I am prepared to work collaboratively with other board members to ensure the ongoing strength of ACS’ financial position.

As a board member, I would prioritize resources to help the public understand and appreciate scientific inquiry and increase public understanding of chemistry’s role in addressing our global challenges. My experiences as a local section chair, regional and national meeting organizer, and multiterm councilor for the Indiana Section have given me the firsthand knowledge of the great work happening at the grassroots level throughout the country. I would partner with local sections and divisions to preserve their vital role in reaching our members, local policy makers, educational leaders and the general public.

I would offer a unique perspective for the board as a working, midcareer, industrial chemist. The board plays a key leadership role in ensuring that ACS member services continue to evolve to meet these challenging times. This is especially true for industrial members who have been impacted by industry consolidation, globalization, and reduced support for travel and professional training even before COVID-19 took its toll. Seven years as a representative of my company on Corporation Associates (ACS Board Committee) taught me about the changing needs of industrial members to prioritize services and engage company leadership as keys to industrial member retention and satisfaction with the society. In addition to direct member support, ACS should be a strong partner to our key chemistry-driven industries, research agencies, and academic institutions through its advocacy efforts. These efforts can have a positive impact by influencing federal funding, ensuring free markets where innovators can expect to be rewarded for the value they create, creating jobs in the chemical sciences, and advancing support for science education.

I represent many thousands of people who have advanced degrees in chemistry and yet today work outside the lab. We can all point to things we learned during our academic and professional training as chemists that have served us well in our current roles. I am grateful to ACS for the opportunities provided to me at all stages of my career, which hone leadership and critical-thinking skills and drive effective results in business and volunteer settings.

I offer my commitment to serve the society, help achieve its priorities, evolve for the future, and maintain a vibrant and dynamic organization for all members. I am ready to work for you and ask for your support with one of your votes for director-at-large. In the face of COVID-19, I pledge to bring an open mind and heart in these uncertain times to the ways that I, and the society, can be the most responsive to the chemistry community. Please visit my website at

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