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For president-elect: Bonnie A. Charpentier

September 11, 2017 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 95, Issue 36

Credit: Courtesy of Bonnie A. Charpentier
A photo of Bonnie A. Charpentier
Credit: Courtesy of Bonnie A. Charpentier

Santa Clara Valley Section. Cytokinetics, South San Francisco, Calif.

Academic record: University of Houston, B.A., 1974, and Ph.D., 1981.

Honors: ACS Fellow, 2015; Honorary Kente Cloth recipient, National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists & Chemical Engineers, 2014; Sherrie Wilkins Award for Distinguished Professionals, American Women in Science Northern California Chapters, 2014; Shirley B. Radding Award, ACS Santa Clara Valley Section, 2012; Mentoring Appreciation Award, Metabolex, 2008; Founders Award, Workshop for Teachers, ACS Santa Clara Valley Section, 2006; A. Ottenberg Service Award, ACS Santa Clara Valley Section, 1998; Platinum Award, ACS Division of Agricultural & Food Chemistry, 1998; Syntex Corporation Recognition Award: Individual, 1994, Team, 1992; University of Houston Departmental Teaching Award, 1980; National Merit Scholar, 1970–74; Iota Sigma Pi.

Professional positions (for past 10 years): Cytokinetics, senior vice president, regulatory, quality, and safety, 2014–; Metabolex, vice president regulatory and quality, 2007–14; Genitope, vice president, regulatory, 2001–06.

Service in ACS national offices: Board of Trustees, Group Insurance Plans for ACS Members, vice chair, 2016; Budget & Finance Committee, chair, 2014, vice chair, 2008, Program Review Subcommittee, chair, 2015–16; Board Oversight Group on Society Program Portfolio Management, 2013–15; Board Liaison to Corporation Associates, 2012–14; Board of Directors, District VI director, 2006–14, chair, 2010–11, Executive Committee, chair, 2010–11; Council, councilor ex officio, 2006–14; Advisory Group for New Ventures, C&EN Editorial Board, Development Advisory Board, Executive Director Performance Planning & Evaluation Committee, chair, Governing Board for Publishing, and Joint Committee on Planning, chair, 2010–11; Committee on Public Affairs & Public Relations, chair, 2007–09; Board Oversight Committee for Communications Strategic Plan, chair, 2007–08; Board Goals Committee, chair, Committee Structure Summit, and Regional Meeting Summit, 2007; Local Section Summit, 2006, 2007; Board-Council Task Force on Governance Review, 2005–07; Committee on Grants & Awards, 2006; Board Task Force on Program Review and Council Policy Committee (voting), vice chair, 2005; Task Force on Enhancing Communications at Council, 2004; Task Force on Petition for Local Section & Division Support, 2002–03; Task Force on Committee Review, 2002; Committee on Nominations & Elections, secretary, 1999–2000, vice chair, 1997; Committee on Local Section Activities, committee associate, 1993.

Service in ACS offices:Santa Clara Valley Section: councilor, 2016–18, 1993–2005; Public Relations Committee, chair, 2004–05; Long Range Planning Committee, 2001–03; KidVention Committee, 1992–2000; National Chemistry Week Committee, chair, 1998; chair, 1997; chair-elect and Kids & Chemistry Committee, chair, 1996; Volunteers in Public Outreach, coordinator, 1995. Western Regional Meeting: program cochair, 2013. Cincinnati Section: trustee and Nominating Committee, chair, 1989–90; chair, 1988–89; chair-elect, Long Range Planning Committee, chair, and Program Committee, chair, 1987–88; vice chair, 1986–87; treasurer, 1985–86; editor, CINTACS, 1984–85. Division of Agricultural & Food Chemistry: Flavor Subdivision, chair, 1990; chair-elect, 1989; vice chair, 1988; secretary, 1987.

Member: Member of ACS since 1982; American Women in Science; American Association for the Advancement of Science; American Association of Chemistry Teachers; National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists & Chemical Engineers; Society for the Advancement of Chicanos & Native Americans in Science; American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists; BioScience Forum; Drug Information Association; Bay Area Compliance Discussion Group: Bay Area Clinical/Regulatory Roundtable; ACS divisions: Agricultural & Food Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Biochemical Technology, Business Development & Management, Chemistry & the Law, History of Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, Small Chemical Businesses.

Related activities: National Organization for Rare Disorders Corporate Council and Cure SMA Industry Collaboration, 2016–; Pharma Leaders Meeting, 2010–; Stanford University, instructor for Tech Trek, and University of California, instructor for the extension class in drug development, 2008–; ACS, presenter of “Exploring Alternative Careers in Chemistry” webinars, 2017; Sociedad Química de México, plenary speaker, 2011; NSF, advisory board member for “Chemistry, a Pipeline to 21st Century Careers” at Canada College, 2008–10; Women in Science & Engineering 16th Annual Conference, invited speaker, 2008; ACS Board of Directors, Santa Clara Valley Section, California Section, cofounder of Chemists in the Community at the San Francisco National Meeting, 2006; Roche Global Development, vice president, 1999–2001, director of regulatory affairs, 1996–99; Syntex Research, regulatory program director, 1993–95, senior manager, 1992–93, manager, 1991–92; coeditor of two books: Polymeric Delivery Systems, ACS Symposium Series 520, 1993, and Supercritical Fluid Extraction and Chromatography, ACS Symposium Series 366, 1988; Procter & Gamble Company, group leader of analytical chemistry, 1981–90, chair of Analytical Symposium Committee, 1984; ACS Younger Chemists Committee, speaker at the Chemical Career Insights Program (Roadshow), 1986–88; ACS, symposium organizer for national meetings for multiple divisions; ACS Divisions of Chemistry & the Law and Career Services, presenter at national meeting symposia on careers for chemists outside the laboratory; Boy Scouts, instructor for Chemistry Merit Badge; ACS California and Santa Clara Valley Sections, presenter at Science Night; Kids & Chemistry, trainer for volunteers; Menttium 100, mentor; ACS Santa Clara Valley Section, founder of Teach the Teachers Workshop and cofounder of the Teacher Scholar Award; ACS Santa Clara Valley Section, California Section, and AIChE NorCal Section, cofounder and developer of the Student Interview Workshop; Shelter Project outreach program, initiator; Stanford University, presenter at the Sally Ride Festival.

Charpentier’s statement

Thank you for considering me for ACS president-elect. It would be a great honor and joy to serve in this role, which I see as leading and collaborating, advocating for and with ACS members, and building cooperative relationships with other scientific organizations.

Relevance to our members

Member needs and aspirations. ACS must be relevant in the lives of our members. One of the most important roles of the ACS president is to communicate with and listen to the needs of all our members. The needs of individual members vary and are different in different stages of their careers. One of my goals is to have a more targeted understanding of member needs and adapt our programs accordingly to support broad diversity and inclusivity and the changing needs of individuals.

To be relevant, ACS must also support members’ aspirations in their careers and in their desire to contribute to the greater good. I have seen the satisfaction of our members in creating great National Chemistry Week events, successful regional meetings, and innovative programs for chemistry education, to name a few. I want to find new synergies and ways to support our members’ dreams.

Employment. Satisfying employment for chemists is an ongoing challenge. My experience with downsizing in both large and small companies is helpful in understanding challenges and potential solutions. I have long participated in and supported programs to help chemists with their careers. A recent New York Times article noted a large percentage of jobs are obtained by referrals. To facilitate this, ACS can better support convenient ways for our community of members to help each other.

Collaboration. We tend to think of our members as belonging solely to academia, industry, or government. However, members often transition across these areas. I want to help develop collaborations across industry, academia, and government, particularly for the benefit of students and our members considering career transitions. We can also do more to actively encourage collaborations across ACS entities, such as local sections, divisions, and regional meetings.

Relevance to society

Challenges. Science and scientists are facing unprecedented challenges from the increasing politicization of science. ACS must lead in combatting ignorance and prejudice, and communicate the value of chemistry to society. Our members expand human knowledge, create, innovate, and produce materials, medicines, energy sources, clean water, and myriad other discoveries, processes, and inventions that improve life. We must empower our members to more effectively share the human stories of the products of chemistry and the value of the scientific method.

Advocacy and outreach. ACS has strong advocacy programs such as Capitol Hill visits and the Science & the Congress Project. It is time to greatly strengthen our efforts and involve more of our committed members. For example, we have excellent advocacy programs in some states, but others are moribund or nonexistent. We should provide greater support for advocacy programs, particularly for science education and research funding.

Promotion of scientific literacy is fundamental to ACS. We need even stronger programs to expand our effectiveness in bringing a better understanding of science to the public.

We often lament the scarcity of scientists in Congress but have done little to foster change. For those members who are interested in taking a more active political role, from school boards to local, state, or national offices, we can provide support in the form of training in best practices and effective communication skills.

Safety is the newest named ACS core value. We must educate and communicate the importance of safety in academia, industry, and government laboratories and in chemical demonstrations and outreach activities.

External collaboration. We can be more effective and successful in meeting our goals by growing our collaborations with other professional societies in the U.S. and internationally.

My qualifications

My broad experience in all levels of ACS, including representing ACS internationally, provides a solid foundation from which to launch new ideas, to build effective collaborations within ACS, and to strengthen relationships with other scientific societies.

My career has included dealing with challenges in R&D and in chemistry employment and managing interactions with regulatory authorities around the world. For more information, please see my website at

Thank you again for your consideration. I respectfully ask for your support to take on the role of primary communicator for ACS. I see this role as leading and embracing change, built on a foundation of collaboration to tap the collective wisdom of our membership. I have the passion, energy, and time to take on this role. I welcome your ideas and suggestions at


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