Susan Hackwood PhD has retired as Executive Director of the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) – an organization she enthusiastically led and strategically steered for 23 years.
“It has been a wonderful experience to interact with California’s top scientific talent and allow CCST to highlight and amplify their expertise and contributions to society,” says Hackwood, who also departs her seat on the CCST Board of Directors and on the CCST Council. “You have all enabled our small but mighty organization to be a trusted partner to so many key decision-makers in California. For all of you, I am forever grateful.”
“The CCST Board of Directors extends our fondest well-wishes to Susan Hackwood,” says Charles Kennel PhD, Chair of the CCST Board of Directors and former Associate Administrator of NASA. “We – as does California’s science and innovation community – owe Susan our sincere gratitude for all that she has achieved as Executive Director of CCST. She has truly made an impact on the intersection of science and policy around the U.S. and beyond.”
The CCST Board of Directors has appointed CCST Deputy Director Amber Mace PhD as Interim Executive Director. A national search is underway to fill the directorship – responsible for leading a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization established via the California State Legislature in 1988 to respond to the Governor, the Legislature, and other State entities on policy issues relating to science and technology.
“Amber will provide important consistency in our leadership transition as we complete our 30th anniversary year,” says Hackwood, a native of England and an electrical engineer by training. “This is one of the most exciting times in CCST’s history, and I know I leave CCST poised to achieve an even higher level of effective science-policy leadership.”
Hackwood’s rich career has spanned industry, academia, and policy. She was Department Head of Device Robotics Technology Research at AT&T Bell Labs, and she holds patents on electrowetting and other engineering processes. She has been a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UC Santa Barbara, and in 1990 became the Founding Dean of the Bourns College of Engineering at UC Riverside – the first female dean of a major research university in the United States. Hackwood was the founder and Director of the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Robotic Systems in Microelectronics (CRSM), and she was co-founder and co-editor of the Journal of Robotic Systems. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
Upon her retirement from CCST, Hackwood has been appointed as a CCST Senior Fellow and has accepted a faculty position in the Graduate Division at UC Riverside, where she will work to motivate student researchers in exploring science policy skills and engagement.
“Susan has defined CCST for much of its existence. From our CCST Science Fellows program to decades of timely science advice reports to governors, legislators, and state offices, so much of our success today owes to Susan’s trailblazing leadership,” says CCST Interim Executive Director Amber Mace. “Susan is a mentor, connector, and innovator – and I am thankful for all that she has done to nurture our staff and grow our organization.”
Mace has served as CCST Deputy Director since 2013. She served in both the Brown and Schwarzenegger Administrations, 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 received a PhD in Ecology from UC Davis, after which she 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 to the U.S. Senate. She is a native of Marin County, California.
The California Council on Science and Technology is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization established via the California State Legislature in 1988. CCST engages leading experts in science and technology to advise state policymakers – ensuring that California policy is strengthened and informed by scientific knowledge, research, and innovation.