Announcing CCST’s New Executive Director!

May 30, 2019 | ,   | Contact: Mikel Shybut

A photo of Amber Mace, PhD, the new Executive Director of CCST.
CCST’s New Executive Director: Amber Mace, PhD

SACRAMENTO, CA – After completing a nationwide search, the Board of Directors of the California Council on Science & Technology (CCST) has named Amber Mace, PhD, as the organization’s new Executive Director.

“Amber brings an uncommon breadth of experience, a trusted leadership style, and an ambitious but pragmatic vision to this critical position,” said Board Chair Peter Cowhey, PhD. “She has been a vital contributor in multiple roles to CCST’s initiatives for more than 10 years. She will be a champion for strengthening how our partner institutions can serve California by connecting their leading experts to the State’s decision makers. We are thrilled for the organization to have someone of her caliber in this position.”

Mace has served as Interim Executive Director of CCST since the retirement of Susan Hackwood, PhD, in July 2018 and as Deputy Director of CCST since 2013.

“It’s truly an honor to follow in the pioneering footsteps of Susan Hackwood to lead this incredible organization, which has been providing science advice to California decision makers for more than 30 years,” said Mace. “I’m looking forward to working with our partner institutions, State leaders, the philanthropic community and our flagship CCST Science Fellows Program to continue to strengthen the bridge between science and policy.”

Mace earned a PhD in Ecology from UC Davis and the Bodega Marine Laboratory, a Bachelors in Geography from UC Berkeley and is pursuing an Executive MBA at Wharton, University of Pennsylvania via their San Francisco campus. In addition to her role at CCST, Mace is also a Policy Fellow with the UC Davis Policy Institute for Energy, Environment and the Economy.

Mace has more than two decades of experience working at the interface between science and policy, within academia, as a decision maker, and with boundary organizations like CCST. Mace served in both the Brown and Schwarzenegger Administrations — appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger as Assistant Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency and Executive Director of the California Ocean Protection Council. Previously she served as Executive Director of the California Ocean Science Trust and Science Advisor to the Ocean Protection Council. Mace was awarded a California Sea Grant State Fellowship to the California Natural Resources Agency, and a NOAA Sea Grant John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship in the U.S. Senate. She is a native of Marin County, California.

As Executive Director, Mace serves as the lead liaison to state and national leaders in philanthropy, policy, and science and technology related issues. As such, she is responsible for developing responsive programs and services to provide science, engineering, and technical advice to the State of California’s government—listening and engaging to advance CCST’s role as a thought leader in the science policy community. Mace is also the chief executive responsible for CCST’s administration, fundraising, budgeting, and managing the CCST Science Fellows Program.  Working with the board of directors she will be the point person for CCST’s ambition to further deepen the ties between the state government and CCST’s partner institutions, listed below.

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CCST’s Partner Institutions:

NASA Ames Research Center
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Sandia National Laboratories
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

University of California
California State University
California Community Colleges
California Institute of Technology
Stanford University


About the California Council on Science and Technology

The California Council on Science and Technology is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization established via the California State Legislature — making California’s policies stronger with science since 1988. We engage leading experts in science and technology to advise State policymakers — ensuring that California policy is strengthened and informed by scientific knowledge, research, and innovation.

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