If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.



For president-elect: Dorothy J. Phillips

by Dorothy J. Phillips, candidate for president-elect
September 8, 2023 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 101, Issue 30


This is a photo of Dorothy J. Phillips.
Credit: Portrait Simple Studio
Dorothy J. Phillips

Northeastern Section. Retired, Waters, Milford, Massachusetts.

Academic record: Vanderbilt University, BA, 1967; University of Cincinnati, PhD, 1974.

Honors: ACS Fellow, 2010; ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry Roland F. Hirsch Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Analytical Chemistry, 2023; National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) Percy L. Julian Award, 2022; NOBCChE Lifetime Achievement Award, 2020; Vanderbilt University: Dr. Dorothy J. Wingfield Phillips Endowed Chair, Renã Robinson, 2023 investiture; Chancellor’s Faculty Fellow, 2017; Athletics Department Equality Weekend Honor, 2017; Vanderbilt Trailblazers, class of 2019; Distinguished Chemist Award, New England Institute of Chemists, 2011; Waters Leadership Award for Outstanding Contributions to Waters and Waters’s Community, 2008; Dr. Dorothy Wingfield Phillips Award for Leadership, 2007; Honored by TTT Mentor Program, 2004–23; Distinguished Alumni, University of Cincinnati, College of Arts and Sciences, 1995, and Friends of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, 1993.

Professional positions (for the past 10 years): Waters, 1984–2013 (retired), director of strategic marketing, 2006–13.

Service in ACS national offices: Board of Directors, director-at-large, 2014–22, councilor, ex officio, 2014–22, Executive Committee, 2016–22; Committee on Professional and Member Relations, 2014–20, 2022, chair 2018–20, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Respect Experts Panel, 2022; Committee on Budget and Finance, 2021–23; Committee on Public Affairs and Public Relations, 2015, 2021; Committee on Grants and Awards, 2014, 2016; board liaison for ACS Science and Human Rights Initiatives, 2014–23; Committee on Strategic Planning, 2016–17, Grassroots–Working Group, chair, 2016, communications chair, 2017; Collaborative for Re-imaging a Diverse ACS Membership, chair, 2015–17; Development Advisory Board, 2017–19, 2023–25; Council Policy Committee, 2008–13, Nominations Sub-Committee, chair, 2012–13; Committee on Committees, 2001–06, secretary, 2003–04, Industrial Pipeline Sub-Committee, chair, 2005–06; Committee on Membership Affairs, 1996–2000.

Service in ACS offices: Northeastern Section: councilor, 1995–13; chair, 1993; chair-elect and program chair, 1992; Project SEED, committee chair, 1994–95; Nominating Committee, chair, 1994; Centennial Celebration, co-chair, 1998; trustee, 2014–25, chair, 2016, 2022. Analytical Chemistry Division: chair, 2009–10; program chair, 2008–09, chair-elect, 2007–08, immediate past-chair, 2010–11, fundraising committee chair, 2012–13.

Member: Member of ACS since 1973. NOBCChE; Sigma Xi; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. ACS Divisions: American Association of Chemistry Teachers; Analytical Chemistry; Biological Chemistry; Business Development and Management.

Related activities: African American Women Chemists in the Modern Era, chapter 2.1, J. E. Brown, author; 15th International Conference of the Indian Society of Chemists and Biologists, Nagpur, speaker, 2011.

Phillips’s statement

I am enthusiastic and motivated to be president of the American Chemical Society. My vision is for a sustainable and global ACS that supports the advancement of all chemists in their careers and endeavors.

As president, I will focus on three ACS core values and goals: first, retaining and growing an inclusive ACS membership worldwide; second, expanding the reach of ACS’s investments in chemical education; and third, embracing diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect (DEIR) including human rights. I am prepared to address these initiatives and more.

My involvement in ACS includes 9 years on the ACS Board of Directors and 28 years on the Council, serving as chair and trustee of the Northeastern Section and chair of the Analytical Division, membership of several governance committees, and collaboration with ACS presidents, staff, and volunteers.

Growing ACS membership worldwide

I joined the ACS Board of Directors upon completing a 40-year career in industry, where I served as the director of strategic marketing. As a global corporate executive, I fostered relationships that grew the business in all major geographies including Asia and Europe. I will lead the way to building relationships and growing ACS industrial and international membership as well. Developing collaborations with chemical companies worldwide will lead to an increase in ACS corporate members.

Investing in chemical education

In January 2022, the ACS board approved strategic initiatives that encompassed ensuring a skilled technical workforce. The skilled technical workforce includes those using science and engineering skills in their jobs but not holding a bachelor’s degree. On the other hand, the ACS Bridge Program is an effort to increase the number of chemical science PhDs awarded to underrepresented students. Through my emphasis on chemical education, all aspiring scientists, with or without degrees, will be able to advance in the chemical enterprise.

Embracing diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect

In January 2020, while I was chair of the Board Committee on Professional and Member Relations (P&MR), I spearheaded the board’s deep dive into the society’s core values of diversity, inclusion and respect (now diversity, equity, inclusion and respect, DEIR) (see C&EN Comment, June 11, 2018). Over the next year, this effort resulted in new strategic directions, renaming the core value and a new goal, Goal 5 ( plan). The position of vice president of DEIR and the department was created. Our Chemical Enterprise Partnerships with sister societies, which focus on those underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, have enabled us to embrace a more diverse group of scientists (see C&EN Comment, June 5, 2020). I will listen to your input and work with the DEIR department, P&MR, and others to make sure the entire society considers diversity and inclusion in its programs, products, and services.

The 2022 strategic initiatives also included an investment in enabling a sustainable future. Enabling a sustainable future supports the United Nations sustainable development goals for 2030. Embedded in the UN goals are human rights. Since 2014, I have been the ACS Board of Directors’ liaison to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Human Rights Coalition, serving my second term on its Steering Committee. I worked with ACS staff and AAAS to organize symposia for the annual conferences (virtual or hybrid) in 2020 through 2022 (see C&EN Comment, May 2, 2022). As part of my DEIR focus, I will continue to make contributions to science and human rights and collaborate with human rights organizations.

For-profit business

Recently, ACS Publications stressed the expansion of its operations, focus, and introduction of new journals, including ones for open access. As president-elect, I will stay up to date and interject, as needed, while ACS Publications strengthens its plans for sustainability and growth.


My heart was warmed at the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers conference in September 2022, when I received its Percy L. Julian Award. This recognition gives me opportunities to inspire students and young scientists, many of whom are from underrepresented groups.


My presidential initiatives in ACS core values of membership, education, and DEIR will build a global ACS indispensable to the lifelong success of all members worldwide.

My experience has prepared me well, and I am motivated to serve as your president. I have a track record of success with ACS, strong relationships in academia, and a robust record as a global corporate executive. As a trailblazer, I have firsthand knowledge and experience of embracing DEIR. I am the first woman of color to have a chair at Vanderbilt University endowed in my honor and the first to be on the ACS Board of Directors. I ask for your vote to be the president-elect of ACS.

For more information, visit To contact this candidate, email


This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.