Rita Colwell is a Distinguished University Professor both at the University of Maryland at College Park and at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, senior advisor and chairman emeritus at Canon US Life Sciences, Inc., and president and CEO of CosmosID, Inc.
Her research interests are focused on global infectious diseases, water, and health. Colwell is currently developing an international network to address emerging infectious diseases and water issues, including safe drinking water for both the developed and developing world.
Colwell served as the eleventh director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) from 1998 to 2004. In her capacity as NSF director, she served as co-chair of the Committee on Science of the National Science and Technology Council.
One of Colwell's major interests is K-12 science and mathematics education, graduate science and engineering education, and the increased participation of women and minorities in science and engineering.
Before joining NSF, Colwell was president of the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute and a professor of microbiology and biotechnology. She was also a member of the National Science Board from 1984 to 1990.
Ph.D., University of Washington (Oceanography)more » « less