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AAAS Announces Rush D. Holt to Retire in 2019, Search Underway for Next CEO

AAAS CEO Rush Holt
Rush Holt, who became CEO of AAAS in 2015, has announced that he will retire later in 2019. | Chet Susslin/National Journal

Rush D. Holt, chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and executive publisher of the Science family of journals, has announced that he will retire later in 2019.

The AAAS Board of Directors will launch an international search for the next CEO to succeed Holt, who plans to serve as the organization’s chief executive until early fall to ensure a smooth transition for the incoming CEO.

“We are grateful for Rush’s leadership over the last four years,” said Susan Hockfield, chair of the AAAS Board of Directors. “He has advanced AAAS in many critical ways to the great benefit of the organization and science at large. At a time when scientific expertise is more important than ever, he launched key new initiatives to make that expertise more accessible to journalists, policymakers and public audiences.”

“It is a privilege to work with such talented and dedicated staff at this time-honored organization as we work to live up to our mission to advance science for the benefit of all people,” said Holt. “I am very pleased with what we are accomplishing. There comes a time to retire, and for me and my family that time is approaching.”

Holt became the 18th chief executive of AAAS in February 2015. He previously served in Congress as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for eight terms; a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study; assistant director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory; an arms control expert at the U.S. State Department; a faculty member in physics at Swarthmore College; and an AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow. During his tenure as chief executive of the organization, AAAS has increased the number of its individual members (120,000) and affiliated organization members (258) and expanded its communication and policy portfolios.

“Dr. Holt has served AAAS with distinction, adding to the organization’s long history of providing strong, influential leadership in the scientific community,” said AAAS President Margaret Hamburg. “He will leave the organization well positioned for the next CEO. We look forward to honoring Rush at the end of his time at AAAS to recognize all he has done and continues to do for the organization and for science at large.”

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science, as well as Science Translational MedicineScience Signaling; a digital, open-access journal, Science AdvancesScience Immunology; and Science Robotics. Founded in 1848, the nonprofit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement, and more.


Tiffany Lohwater


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