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For President-Elect: Diane Grob Schmidt

September 16, 2013 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 91, Issue 37

Credit: Courtesy of Diane Grob Schmidt
Photo of Diane Grob Schmidt.
Credit: Courtesy of Diane Grob Schmidt

Cincinnati Section. Procter & Gamble Co., Cincinnati, Ohio

Academic record: University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, A.B.; University of Tennessee, Knoxville, M.S.; University of Cincinnati, Ph.D., 1981

Honors: Henry A. Hill Award, ACS Division of Professional Relations, 2012; ACS Fellow, 2011; Fellow, ACS Chemical Health & Safety Division, 2004; ACS Scholars Program, Certificate of Appreciation, 2002–10; Procter & Gamble Outstanding Contributions in the Development & Implementation of R&D IH&S Program, 1996–2002; Procter & Gamble Excellence in Innovation, Emerging Technology Achievement, 1996; Charter Inductee for Red Bank High School, Alumni Hall of Fame, 2000; University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, Distinguished Alumna, 1995; Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, National Award, Outstanding Alumna for Contributions to Profession, 1995; Distinguished Scientist of Cincinnati by Engineers & Scientists of Cincinnati, 1994 (first woman selected for this honor); Sigma Xi (life member); Iota Sigma Pi (life member); Beta Beta Beta; Gamma Sigma Epsilon; Sigma Pi Sigma; Distinguished Dissertation Fellowship; Procter & Gamble Fellowship; USDA Research Fellowship

Professional positions (for past 10 years): Procter & Gamble Company, section head, 1997– ; senior scientist, 1992–97

Service in ACS national offices: Board of Directors, District II Director, 2002–10; councilor ex officio, 2002–10; Board Executive Committee, 2004–10; Board Committee on Public Affairs & Public Relations, 2004–09, chair, 2004–06; Board Committee on Professional & Member Relations, 2008–09, 2002–05, chair, 2009–10; Committee on Budget & Finance, 2006–14; Board Web Presence Advisory Group, 2005–09; Sustainability Stakeholders Steering Group (S3G), 2009–10, chair, 2009; Board Sustainability Working Group, 2008–09; Board International Strategy Group, cochair, 2007; C&EN task force, 2011; Board International Strategy Implementation Task Force, cochair, 2008; Board Global Presence Working Group, chair, 2010; International Activities Committee, board liaison, 2007–10; Program Review Advisory Group, 2012–14; Board Advisory Group on China, 2005–07; Board Retreat Planning Group, 2010, 2007–08, chair, 2010; Board Steering Team for Strategic Plan Workshop, 2007; Percy Julian Task Force, 2004–07; Board Committee on Planning, 2004–10, special liaison, 2005–06, 2003; Board Goals Task Force, chair, 2005–06; American Chemical Society/American Chemistry Council (ACS/ACC) Collaboration Task Force, chair, 2005; Joint ACS/GCI Board Task Force, 2005-06; Board Contingency Planning Group, 2006; Program Review Task Force, 2005; ACS/AIChE Governance to Governance Task Force, 2003–05; Committee on Science, consultant, 2004–05; Committee on Chemical Safety, 1998–2004, chair, 2001, committee associate, 1995–97, consultant, 2002–06; Board Task Force on Strategic Alliances, 2004; Committee on Economic & Professional Affairs, Career Consultant, 1994–2004; Committee on Science, consultant, 2004–05; Committee on Economic Status, 1991–93, secretary, 1991–93, committee associate, 1988–90; Women Chemists Committee, committee associate, 1989; Board Task Force on Executive Compensation, 2003; Board Presidential Task Force on Division & Local Section Funding, 2002–03, chair, 2002–03; Presidential Task Force on Chemical Hygiene Officer Certification, 1994–97; Board Task Force on Pension Policy, 1990

Service in ACS offices: Division of Professional Relations: councilor, 2012–14; chair, 1996; chair-elect, 1995. Division of Chemical Health & Safety: chair, 2013; chair-elect, 2012; alternate councilor, 2011–13; councilor, 2001–03; Executive Committee, 1997– ; member-at-large, 1997–2000. Cincinnati Section: alternate councilor, 1992–98; trustee, 1987–91; chair, 1986–87; chair-elect, 1985–86; membership chair, 1983–84; auditor, 1981–84; audit committee, chair, 1983–84; Spring Symposium Committee, 1986–87; Organic Discussion Group, chair, 1983–85. Regional Meetings: Central Regional Meeting, Flavors & Fragrances Symposium cochair, 2004; CMACS Regional Meeting Organizing Committee, 2000, 2007; CMACS Diversity Symposium, cochair, 2000

Member: Member of ACS since 1968. Sigma Xi (life member); Iota Sigma Pi (life member); American Association for the Advancement of Science; American Industrial Hygiene Association. ACS Divisions: Chemical Health & Safety, Chemistry & the Law, Organic Chemistry, Professional Relations

Related activities: Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Board of Directors, director, 2012–15; Journal of Chemical Health & Safety, Board of Editors, 2000– ; Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, Editorial Board, 1991– ; University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Chemistry Department Industrial Board, 1999– , vice chair, 2010–11, chair of the board, 2012–13; University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Arts & Sciences, Dean’s Advisory Board, 1996– , vice chair, 2010–12, chair of the board, 2012–14; University of Cincinnati, McMicken College Dean’s Alumni Advisory Board, 2006– ; Miami Valley Investment Club, president, 1985–86, vice president, 1984; Society of Cosmetic Chemists, Ohio Valley Chapter, chair, 1989, chair-elect, 1988; Iota Sigma Pi-Radium Chapter, president, 1980–81, vice president, 1979–80; Alpha Delta Pi Sorority National Scholarship, chair, 1987–89; Oak Ridge National Laboratory, research associate, 1970–75; holds U.S. patents with accompanying applications and filings internationally; author of scientific publications and technical presentations



Our world today is volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. The American Chemical Society faces unparalleled challenges that require innovative solutions to establish a thriving Chemical Enterprise with a bright, sustainable future for our members. We have the strengths and competencies to address our challenges as a grassroots, member-oriented professional organization.

To build a thriving, enduring Chemical Enterprise, we must engage our resources to address the global “reset” to new norms. That reset is the sum of changes we all are feeling—aftereffects of the great recession; unemployment issues; a competitive global workforce and economy; universal, networked communication; racing technological change; public misperceptions of chemistry; and heightened awareness of limited resources.

In order to realize a sustainable future in these crucial and difficult times, we must marshal our resources to bridge the gaps and solve problems. We live in interesting but challenging times. Chemistry is a rewarding profession, but only if you have a job. In the past, our graduates were offered jobs before graduating; now frequently they wait six to nine months or more before finding employment. Even midcareer chemists are concerned about job security and may fear job loss from outsourcing. No wonder our young people show increasing reluctance to select chemistry as their future profession. Further, the public image of chemistry is suffering from media attacks. “Chemicals” is seen as a bad word. Funds for research are being cut.

What can the ACS president do? I am a realist. The challenges are going to be with us. They cannot be solved overnight. We can, however, as a member organization seek to turn challenges into opportunities to build a sustainable, thriving future for our members. The ACS president can lead the way to initiate and support actions for solutions. The president working with the grassroots in the local sections and divisions can envision, energize, and engage members. To quote Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”

There are five focus areas where we must concentrate:

Employment. Jobs, jobs, and jobs! This should be our major concern! ACS cannot create jobs but must work to create an atmosphere domestically that encourages growth and the addition of U.S. jobs.

Education. Strong leadership, even a transformational role, in the educational system that prepares our future chemists and chemical engineers for getting, keeping, and growing in their jobs.

Scientific Information. Providing easy access to trusted scientific information anywhere/anytime is a core member need.

Advocacy. Advocating for improved and sustained funding of the Chemical Enterprise is now more critical than ever to reignite America’s commitment to science and technology. Ongoing investment is needed to drive sustainable growth.

Collaboration. We must continue to expand our strategic interactions with sister societies worldwide to address issues of mutual and global interest. We are all in this together.

What do I bring? I have the experience, capability, and commitment to help ACS achieve our shared vision of the future. I offer my candidacy to you as an energized member who is dedicated to leading the society for the benefit of the members. I have been an active leader during my years as an ACS member including nine years on the ACS board, as well as offices at the regional, division, and local section levels. I bring a diverse and balanced background from industry and a national laboratory along with an open mind to the issues facing our society.

My Pledge.

I pledge my time to work with all members in council, divisions, and local sections to hear their concerns and suggestions and to communicate continuously on what needs to be done and on the progress. Most importantly, I offer determination, diligence, commitment, and enthusiasm toward accomplishing these goals. My long, effective involvement in ACS governance at all levels from the local sections to the board of directors can give you this assurance. For more information, please visit my website at


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