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For director-at-large: Lee H. Latimer

September 7, 2018 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 96, Issue 36


Photo of Lee Latimer.
Credit: Dylan Studios

California Section. LHLatimer Consulting, Oakland, Calif.

Academic record: Tulane University, B.S., 1971; University of Wisconsin, Ph.D., 1976; postdoctoral research, University of California, Berkeley, 1976–77, University of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy, 1977–79.

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

Professional positions (for past 10 years): LHLatimer Consulting, consultant in drug development, 2011–; NeurOp (a virtual pharmaceutical company), head of chemistry, 2014–16; Elan Pharmaceuticals, 1995–2011, senior director, 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, 2016–18; councilor ex officio, 2016–18; Committee on Public Affairs & Public Relations, 2016–18, PA&PR liaison to grassroots units, 2017–; Board Strategic Planning Committee, adviser, 2018, member, 2011–12; Council Policy Committee (voting), 2013–15, (nonvoting), 2010–12; Task Force on Councilor Divisor, 2015, 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 & Communications, 2003–06, 1994–98, committee associate, 2001–02, 1993; Leadership Institute, track leader for local sections, 2010–12; Leadership Institute Planning Group, 2011–12; Canvassing Committee, Grady-Stack Award, 1996–98.

Service in ACS offices: California Section: councilor, 2004–15; alternate councilor, 2003; chair, 2004; chair-elect and program committee chair, 2003; member-at-large to Excom, 2017–; Long Range Planning Committee; various committees. Division of Organic Chemistry: liaison to Multi-Program Planning Committee, 2014–15. Rochester Section: alternate councilor, 1991–93; chair, 1988; chair-elect, 1987; NCW chair, 1989–92; many other committees. 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.

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

Related activities: District VI Caucus chair, 2009; LSAC Subcommittee on Grants & Awards, chair, 2008–09; Chemists in the Community, co-organizer, San Francisco ACS national meeting, 2006; Interview Skills Workshops, cofounder, joint project of California and Santa Clara Valley Sections (now Silicon Valley Section), and NorCal Section of AIChE, 2004–; Tulane University, School of Science & Engineering Board of Advisors, 2006–; University of California, Davis, R. Bryan Miller Symposium Committee, 2013–; Rochester Council of Scientific Societies, president, 1990–93; California Life Sciences Association, FAST Program, mentor to entrepreneurs, 2017–; Encorps Educators program, tutor, 2015–16; Eastman Kodak Research Labs, 1979–93; Sterling Winthrop, 1993–95; Rochester Institute of Technology, adjunct professor, 1985; University of Rochester, visiting adjunct professor, 1982–83; coinventor on over 55 issued U.S. patents; over 35 publications and invited presentations.


Latimer’s statement

ACS is an extraordinary professional society of colleagues, fellowship, achievement, and impact in the communities where we live. I am always amazed that we can go virtually anywhere in our country and increasing locations outside the U.S. and easily find chemists through our sections and chapters.

The last two and a half years of serving on the ACS Board of Directors have been illuminating, engaging, challenging, and rewarding in working with a talented team of members and staff toward the mission, vision, and efforts of ACS. I have enjoyed serving on the board and strongly desire to continue the work.

The first priority of a board member must be the financial stability and sustainability of the society and its businesses. Following that is the strength and effectiveness of the ACS enterprise in serving members, chemistry, and the general public. Running through all the aspects must be both a service-to-members focus and a focus on the success, stability, and effectiveness of the sections and divisions that serve members’ needs and interests.

A key aspect in my work for ACS is on the Committee on Public Affairs & Public Relations of the board. The involvement in advocacy in its many forms is critical to the ACS role in the chemical enterprise and in our federally chartered role to Congress. Two of my ACS Comments have directly addressed this area. One focused attention on the actions in progress at ACS offices in response to comments of members wanting more advocacy and regarding advocacy priorities (C&EN, Feb. 13, 2017, page 35). A second ACS Comment encouraged section and division leaders to nominate locations of key advancements for National Historic Chemical Landmarks lest the work fade away with the aging of generations in corporations (C&EN, Feb. 5, 2018, page 33). Included in the latter was a suggestion for local section or divisional landmark programs with the same intent. In both cases, these designations serve to inform the public of important work in chemistry.

When I asked for your vote three years ago (C&EN, Sept. 14, 2015, page 45), I noted some priorities and passions where I would focus my efforts. One is supporting and working with volunteers in local sections, divisions, and regional meetings. As a strong advocate for regional meetings (please see my Comment in C&EN, June 13, 2016, page 37), I’m very impressed by the organizers and enjoy participating in their meetings. I support continuing to find ways to support those organizers in this valuable work.

Primary areas of concern for our members remain finding a long-term job that fully uses their skills, and the general stability of the chemical enterprise in a time of change. The shifting job situation severely challenges our members in industrial positions and gravely concerns our new graduate members. The trends in employment are toward smaller companies, as I’ve experienced in my career. The small-company opinions need to be heard in our conversations, just as with large and medium-sized companies, about their hiring and general environment. The ACS panorama of activities to understand members’ needs is critical. We need continuous development of programs and activities that support the needs of our members to grow and support their careers.

I am particularly pleased that we added safety and ethics to our core values for the society. Having served as a company safety officer for six years, impacting chemical safety is very important. I look forward to increasing the ACS safety footprint.

Change is guaranteed. Managing change and bringing benefit from change to our members, businesses, and the society are essential for the future. My work on the Committee on Local Section Activities and the Council Policy Committee emphasized both the pace and potential scope that change could take while managing and improving the present. Many of the same issues continue to be critical: member engagement and retention, support for strength in our local sections and divisions, the strength of our precollege and university education programs, the opportunities for continuing education, globalization, and the impact on members of our national and regional meetings. All our work to address these issues enhances the value of ACS to members and to the chemical enterprise.

Working and networking with members on the challenges of change and opportunity is a highlight of ACS for me. I’m very grateful for the suggestions, comments, and encouragement from many members. I ask for your vote to continue working on the board for the benefit of all of us.

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