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For District III Director: Pat N. Confalone

September 7, 2014 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 92, Issue 36

Pat N. Confalone

Delaware Section. (Retired) DuPont, Wilmington, Del.

Academic record: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, B.S., 1967; Harvard University, M.S., 1968; Harvard University, Ph.D. (R. B. Woodward), 1970; Harvard University, postdoc (R. B. Woodward), 1971

Honors: American Association for the Advancement of Science, fellow, 2001; Esther Humphrey Lecturer, 1990; Robert A. Welch Foundation Lecturer, 1988–89; Samuel M. McElvain Industrial Speaker, 1982; Harvard Graduate Society Prize, 1968; Alpha Chi Sigma Award, 1967

Professional positions (for past 10 years): Confalone Consulting, 2013; DuPont, Global Research & Development, Crop Protection, 2003–13, vice president, 2011; Adaptive Therapeutics, Research & Development, vice president, 2003; Bristol-Myers Squibb, Process Research & Development, senior director, 2001–02; DuPont Pharmaceuticals, Chemical Process Research & Development, senior vice president, 1995–2001; DuPont-Merck, Medicinal Chemistry, executive director, 1988–95

Service in ACS national offices: Green Chemistry Institute Governing Board, 2010–15; Board of Directors, District III, director, 2009–14; councilor ex officio, 2009–14; Medicinal Chemistry Letters, editorial advisory board, 2011–14; Committee on Budget & Finance, 2010–13, chair, 2011–13; Commission on Advancing Graduate Education in the Chemical Sciences, 2012–13; Vision 2025: Innovation & Entrepreneurship in the Chemical Enterprise, 2013; Presidential Task Force on Innovation in the Chemical Enterprise, 2010; Committee on Public Affairs & Public Relations, 2009–11; Governing Board Committee on Chemistry & Public Affairs, 1995–2004, chair, 1997–98, consultant, 2005–07; Task Force on National Institutes of Health, 1992–93

Service in ACS offices:Division of Organic Chemistry: executive committee, 1985–90; chair, 1988; ACS Workshop on Chemistry, 1977

Member: Member of ACS since 1970. Alpha Chi Sigma; Phi Lambda Upsilon; Sigma Xi; Massachusetts Institute of Technology Educational Council; New York Academy of Sciences; International Society of Heterocyclic Chemists; Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association; Drug Information Association; International Union of Pure & Applied Chemistry (IUPAC); Harvard Association of Chemists; American Association for the Advancement of Science; French-American Chemical Society. ACS Divisions: Medicinal Chemistry, Organic Chemistry

Related activities: Scientific advisory boards of development-stage biopharmaceutical companies, 2003– ; IUPAC, Finance Committee, U.S. representative, 2013–16; Delaware Technology Park, board of directors, 2006–13; Council for Chemical Research, governing board, 2009–12; IUPAC, U.S. National Committee, 2008–12; Drew University, adjunct professor, 1990–97; FACS International Conference, chair, 1992–94; International Society of Chemical Ecology, councilor, 1990; French-American Chemical Society, cofounder, 1989; Gordon Research Conference, Natural Products, chair, 1983; Rutgers University, adjunct professor, 1975–80; ACS Workshop on Organic Synthesis, 1977; editorial advisory boards of Current Drugs, Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, Journal of Organic Chemistry, Synlett, Progress in Heterocyclic Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry Research, Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters, Current Opinion in Drug Discovery & Development, Drug Design & Discovery, and Medicinal Chemistry Letters


Watch For Your Ballot

All voting members of ACS will receive ballots enabling them to vote for president-elect. Only members with mailing addresses in Districts III and VI will receive ballots to vote for director from those districts. Only voting councilors will receive ballots for the director-at-large elections.

All ballots will be mailed on Oct. 3. The deadline for voting or return of marked ballots, which may be done online or by paper ballot, respectively, is close of business on Nov. 14.

It has been my privilege to serve on the board of directors as the District III representative (2009–14), and I seek your support for a third and final term. As chair of the Committee on Budget & Finance, I have witnessed the dramatic transition from the financial challenges our society faced as a result of the Great Recession to an ACS that has emerged stronger than ever. I have had the opportunity to serve on three ACS presidential commissions during my second term on the board: the Task Force on Innovation, Chemistry & Jobs; the Commission on Advancing Graduate Education in the Chemical Sciences; and Vision 2025: Innovation & Entrepreneurship in the Chemical Enterprise. These activities demonstrate the critical importance of innovation and its conversion to science-based jobs and societal benefits, often through the agency of entrepreneurship. The board of directors must make many critical decisions that directly impact our members and the global chemical enterprise. Fortunately, we can now focus our energies and enthusiasm on the great opportunities that abound rather than the severe challenges experienced in the bleak years of 2008–10. Among my priorities are the following:

Education. The U.S. now ranks 36th among comparator countries in science and math competencies. The economic superpowers of the future will boast an ambitious, energetic, and highly skilled technical workforce. The Commission on Advancing Graduate Education in the Chemical Sciences presented five conclusions and offered 34 recommendations, all aimed at advancing our competitiveness in the global setting. In addition, a new initiative creating the American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT) offers a community of shared resources for K–12 instructors. Extending the capability of our society to our youngest students in addition to undergraduate, graduate, and postdoc scholars is an important new initiative.

Academic challenges. ACS must better assist our academic members as they face a myriad of challenges, many unique to our times. Foremost is the sustainability of government research funding, with grant success rates falling well below 20%. We will intensify support for federal R&D funding through our advocacy programs, targeting NIH, NSF, the Department of Energy, DOD, and other agencies that support basic research in the chemical and physical sciences. The sustainability of the cost model for universities is a looming crisis as is the exponential growth of MOOCs and other online educational models. Finally, a growing concern is meeting the expectations and aspirations of graduate students in the face of the new global economy and limited employment opportunities.

Industrial challenges. ACS must be more responsive to the turmoil that continues to engulf STEM jobs, impacting the majority of our membership. A host of mergers and acquisitions, downsizings, reorganizations, outsourcing, and offshoring have made job security the number-one issue for our industrial colleagues. This remains particularly true in the pharmaceutical space, which continues to restructure, eliminating thousands of jobs, primarily in the U.S. The contract of lifetime employment has been forever broken—we must ensure it is replaced by lifetime employability! ACS must build on our efforts to provide retraining, networking, outplacement services, continuing education, and portable pensions designed for total career management.

Entrepreneurship. ACS is extending its focus to include start-up companies as we also work through the issues faced by members employed at larger chemical-based industries. Consider the grand challenges facing our planet—including adequate food supply, health care, potable water, alternative energy, battery storage, etc. All have chemistry and chemical engineering as an essential component of the solution. We have the best research universities in the world, huge private- and government-sector R&D investments, and more than a century of entrepreneurship, taking a wealth of inventions to commercialization. ACS has recently offered training and key resources to members who have the drive to start new companies. We will continue to build on this important initiative.

Throughout my career, I have accepted academic invitations to chemistry departments, giving seminars and meeting with faculty and students. These interactions over the years have deepened my understanding of the critical importance of R&D funding and the disastrous effects of budget cuts on research programs and science education. I have consulted for and worked with start-up companies and appreciate the entrepreneurial challenges and opportunities that they face. Finally, I believe that my 42 years of experience in leading industrial R&D groups in the chemical sciences, enjoying adjunct professorships, and contributing to ACS activities have provided the management and leadership skills that are critical to meeting the challenges I’ve outlined. I respectfully ask for your support in the 2014 election for District III director.

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