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For director-at-large: Lee H. Latimer

by Lee H. Latimer
September 10, 2021 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 99, Issue 33


A photo of H. Lee Latimer
Credit: Dynan Studios
Lee H. Latimer

California Section. Consultant, LHLatimer Consulting, Oakland, California.

Academic record: Tulane University, BS, chemistry, 1971; University of Wisconsin, PhD, organic chemistry, 1976; University of California, Berkeley, postdoctoral research in organic chemistry, 1976–77; University of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy, postdoctoral research in organic chemistry, 1977–79.

Honors: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety, Howard Fawcett Chemical Health Award, 2016; ACS Santa Clara Valley Section, Shirley B. Radding Award, 2014; ACS Fellow, 2012; ACS California Section, Walter B. Petersen Award, 2010; ACS Rochester Section, Rochester Section Award, 1991; Elan Pharmaceuticals, Chemical Sciences Excellence Award, 2009; Kodak Research Labs, Gold Team Achievement Award, 1992; National Institutes of Health, Postdoctoral Fellowship, 1977–79; Phi Beta Kappa, 1971; Sigma Xi, 1971.

Professional positions (for past 10 years): LHLatimer Consulting, drug development consultant, 2011–; NeurOp, head of chemistry, 2014–16; Elan Pharmaceuticals, 1995–2011, senior director of process and analytical chemistry, 2005–11, chemical hygiene officer, 2004–10; San Francisco State University, lecturer, 2012.

Service in ACS national offices: Board of Directors, director-at-large, 2016–21; councilor ex officio, 2016–21; Committee on Public Affairs and Public Relations, 2016–21, chair, 2021; Task Force on the Future of Meetings, cochair, 2019–; Board Strategic Planning Committee, 2011–12, adviser, 2018; Council Policy Committee, (voting) 2013–15, (nonvoting), 2010–12; Task Force on Councilor Divisor, chair, 2015; Task Force on Councilor Travel Reimbursements, 2013–14, chair, 2013–14; Committee on Local Section Activities, 2007–12, chair 2010–12; Committee on Public Relations and Communications, 2003–06, 1994–98, committee associate, 2001–02, 1993; Board Committee on Planning, 2010–12; Leadership Institute, track leader for local sections track, 2010–12; Leadership Institute Planning Group, 2011–12; Canvassing Committee, Grady-Stack Award, 1996–98.

Service in ACS offices:California Section: councilor, 2004–15; chair, 2004, chair-elect and program committee chair, 2003; alternate councilor, 2003; Excom, member-at-large, 2017–; Long Range Planning Committee. Rochester Section: alternate councilor, 1991–93; chair, 1988; chair-elect, 1987; National Chemistry Week (NCW) Committee, chair, 1989–1992. Philadelphia Section: NCW Committee, 1993–94. Santa Clara Valley Section: NCW Committee, 1998. Western Region Board: chair, 2014–16; vice chair, 2010–13; California Section representative, 2007–. Western Regional Meeting: general cochair, 2013. Northeast Regional Meeting: organic program chair, 1981. ACS Division of Organic Chemistry: liaison to Multi-Disciplinary Program Planning Group, 2014–15. District VI caucus: 2004-, chair, 2009

Member: Member of ACS since 1972. American Association for the Advancement of Science; American Association of Chemistry Teachers; American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists; National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers; Society for the Advancement of Chicano and Native American Scientists. ACS Divisions: Business Development and Management; Chemical Education; Chemical Health and Safety; Chemistry and the Law; History of Chemistry; Industrial and Engineering Chemistry; Medicinal Chemistry; Organic Chemistry; Small Chemical Businesses.

Related activities: Interview Skills Workshops, joint project of California and Santa Clara Valley Sections, and Northern California Section of American Institute of Chemical Engineers, cofounder, 2004–; Tulane University, School of Science and Engineering Board of Advisors, 2006–; Local Section Activities Committee Subcommittee on Grants and Awards, chair, 2008–09; Chemists in the Community, San Francisco ACS National Meeting, co-organizer, 2006; University of California, Davis, R. Bryan Miller Symposium Committee adviser, 2013–20; Rochester Council of Scientific Societies, president, 1990–93; FAST Program of advisers to entrepreneurs of California Life Sciences Institute, mentor, 2017–; Encorps Educators program, Oakland, CA., HS chemistry tutor, 2015–16; Rochester Institute of Technology, adjunct professor teaching physical organic chemistry, 1985; University of Rochester, visiting adjunct professor teaching organic chemistry 1982-83; Kodak Research Labs, research chemist and team leader, 1979–93; Sterling Winthrop, Inc., research team leader, 1993–95; coinventor on over 55 issued US patents; over 35 publications and invited presentations.

Latimer’s statement

I am grateful for the opportunity to run for a final term as director-at-large and complete my service on the ACS Board of Directors. Throughout my career, mostly in industry, the extraordinary resources and activities of ACS have made a profound difference. I am fortunate to be able to contribute as a volunteer, participate and lead activities. Serving on the ACS Board for the last 5 years allowed me to draw on 40 years of experience working on ACS projects and committees at local, regional, and national levels.

ACS has an important role in chemistry and needs all of us to contribute in order to be an effective and influential society. The events of the pandemic have challenged us all. The cancellation of one and shift of the last three national meetings to virtual or hybrid meetings has made networking and communication much more difficult. It is a tribute to our science and professionalism to see the resilience, and efforts to capitalize on the challenges (C&EN, Oct. 24, 2020). In the new hybrid format of the August national meeting, Fall regional meetings, and all our meetings in 2022, we will be building a new normal.

Recently, I have been serving as cochair of the Task Force on the Future of Meetings, with broad representation from committees and the Board, which has been charged with envisioning how meetings will change. The Task Force was blindsided by the pandemic. Projections through 2030 suddenly became current, and the opportunities for new technology have been exciting to envision (C&EN, Feb. 17, 2020; Aug. 3, 2020). Many recommendations are being implemented, including hybrid meetings. Key foci are retaining networking, the exposition, career activities and opportunities for younger chemists to shine. Change is a guaranteed part of life though sometimes faster than expected!

We must remain focused on jobs (industrial, academic, government and entrepreneurial) and the challenges of the pandemic for the chemical enterprise. While many companies generally weathered the pandemic, I am particularly concerned about our members in small companies where most job growth was occurring through 2019. Being an alumnus of large and small companies and academia, the challenges our members and their employers face today are very high. I am pleased to serve our members as a career consultant. ACS Career Services has risen to the challenge to assist with career shifts, skills development, workshops in technical areas, and several new directions for members.

Communication within the chemistry community and about chemistry is crucial. It is exciting to see how local sections and technical divisions are using virtual presentations to grow programs in a time without in-person meetings. This is a particular benefit for all our members—especially seniors and young members—to bring many new faces to our meetings, including those outside the US.

Members have many opportunities to speak to legislators at all levels. As chair of the Board Committee on Public Affairs and Public Relations (PA&PR), I am pleased ACS and the Board are vigorously building virtual legislator visits to the US Congress. I am a strong advocate of growth in the National Historic Chemical Landmark program, which reports to PA&PR, and am leading a series of local section leaders focused virtual advocacy trainings. The online advocacy-training workshop at supports our advocacy (C&EN, Feb. 8, 2021).

As an advocate for regional meetings (C&EN, June 13, 2016), local sections, and divisions, I feel we need to be constantly aware of the impact of external factors like the pandemic and be ready to lead solutions. I am pleased the board has ensured the local section and division allotment levels. The next few years will be a very dramatic period for the society with the new ACS membership levels being introduced this fall, and maintaining our extensive range of services after the pandemic.

I am proud to be a member of the ACS Board that added safety, ethics, and diversity, equity, inclusion and respect (DEIR) to our core values, and incorporated DEIR as Goal 5 of the society. I also support our society daring to make major changes in the Membership 2.0 programs and committee structures, and to protect our core units. We are a resilient experimental science community. Thanks to careful financial management of the Board and the successful efforts of our colleagues in CAS and PUBS, we are on a sound footing to lead and exemplify the community of professional science societies.

I appreciate hearing from you directly at and at with your ideas and thoughts on how we can work ever more successfully for our fellow members. Thank you for the opportunity to serve. I ask for your vote to continue my work.

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