The National Science Foundation has named Judith A. Ramaley, a celebrated educational innovator and former president of two universities, as the Foundation's new Assistant Director for Education and Human Resources (EHR).
Effective August 1, Dr. Ramaley, a biologist who served most recently as president of the University of Vermont, will oversee EHR's $800 million annual portfolio. It supports programs including research into learning at all levels from kindergarten through graduate education, as well as numerous projects to improve educational performance within challenging school systems and geographic regions, and among America's historically underserved ethnic groups.
"Dr. Ramaley has achieved a national reputation as a leader of educational reform efforts," said NSF Director Rita R. Colwell. "Her proven determination and insight will be enormously valuable in this critical period for the future of math, science, engineering and technology education. In addition, her longstanding interest in the changing nature and needs of America's workforce are ideally suited to the Foundation's concerns and to the nation's urgent priorities."
Since the 1960s, Dr. Ramaley has been a professor of biology at five universities, served as president of the University of Vermont and Portland State University in Oregon, and held senior administrative positions at the State University of New York at Albany, the University of Kansas, and the University of Nebraska.
She has served as chair of the American Council on Education's Commission on Women in Higher Education, and the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges (NASULGC) Commission on the Urban Agenda, among other distinctions. She currently chairs a committee of the U.S. Department of Education's National Advisory Council for School-to Work Opportunities, and the Association of American Colleges and Universities' National Panel on Greater Expectations.
At Vermont, Dr. Ramaley took the lead in creating a novel alliance called the Vermont Public Education Partnership, which brought together the university, state education officials and state colleges to produce a coordinated collaboration that extends from pre-K to graduate education. The initiative emphasized programs such as distance learning and comprehensive response to statewide workforce needs. She is also the author of several seminal publications on educational reform and its relation to society.
"Dr. Ramaley's extensive experience as a faculty member and administrator, coupled with her strong belief that colleges and universities have a major role to play in improving K-12 mathematics and science education, will serve the Foundation -and the country -- well," said Judith S. Sunley, outgoing Interim Assistant Director of EHR. Sunley, a 21-year veteran of NSF, is moving to the Office of the Director as a Senior Advisor.