Kate Kirby is the Executive Officer of the American Physical Society (APS), the premier professional organization of more than 47,000 physicists from academia, national laboratories and industry, and a leading publisher of scientific journals. She will give a presentation to and engage with the Science Diplomats Club of Washington, DC on April 24, 2012.
Kirby’s research interests lie in the area of theoretical atomic and molecular physics, particularly focusing on the calculation of atomic and molecular processes important in astrophysics and atmospheric physics. In 1990 she was elected to Fellowship in the APS. From 2001 she has been the Director of the NSF-funded Institute for Theoretical Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (ITAMP) at Harvard University and Smithsonian, until she became the Executive Officer of APS in July 2009.
Kirby has both chaired and served on numerous committees of the American Physical Society. She was elected APS councilor-at-large (1991-93) and elected to the Executive Board of APS (2005-06). In addition she has served as Vice-Chair, Chair-Elect, and Chair of the Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (1995-98).
Other activities include membership on the Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (2003-2012) and co-chair of the BESAC Subcommittee on Theory and Computation, member of the NAS/NRC Decadal Assessment Committee for Atomic, Molecular and Optical Science (AMO2010), Chair of the International Conference on Photonic, Electronic, and Atomic Collisions (2001-2003), and member of the Editorial Board of Reports on Progress in Physics (2007-2009).
Kate Kirby received her A.B. in Chemistry and Physics from Harvard/Radcliffe College in 1967 and her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1972. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the Harvard College Observatory (1972-73), she was appointed as research physicist at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and Lecturer in the Harvard University Department of Astronomy (1973-86, and 2003 - present). From 1988 to 2001 she served as an Associate Director at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, heading the Atomic and Molecular Physics Division.
Présentation slides (pdf):