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Department of Physics

Dr. Kate Kirby

The American Physical Society

 Kate Kirby

APS and K-State: Addressing Diversity Challenges (in Physics)

102 Cardwell Hall
April 3, 2017
4:30 p.m.

The U.S. physics community is strikingly homogeneous in terms of gender and race. A top priority for the American Physical Society (APS) is supporting efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in physics. The APS coordinates and provides administrative infrastructure for a variety of programs, which help to increase the number of women and underrepresented minorities completing degrees in physics at both the undergraduate and graduate level. The support for these programs in physics departments around the country has contributed significantly to their success. 


Dr. Kate Kirby is the Chief Executive Officer at The American Physical Society. Dr. Kirby earned her bachelor's degree in chemistry and physics from Harvard/Radcliffe College and her PhD from the University of Chicago. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the Harvard College Observatory she was appointed as Research Physicist at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and Lecturer in the Harvard University Department of Astronomy. From 1988 to 2001, she served as an Associate Director at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, heading the Atomic and Molecular Physics Division. From 2001-2007, she served as Director of the Institute for Theoretical Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (ITAMP) at Harvard and Smithsonian. In July, 2009 she was appointed Executive Officer of the American Physical Society. Kate served in that capacity until February 2015, when the APS Board of Directors voted to select her as the first Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of APS, effective February 2, 2015.