Neal F. Lane
Former Office of Science & Technology Policy Director and Science & Technology Advisor to President Bill Clinton
Dr. Neal Lane is currently Malcolm Gillis University Professor, and formerly Edward A. and Hermena Hancock Kelly University Professor at Rice University. He also holds appointments as a Senior Fellow of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, where he is engaged in matters of science and technology policy, and in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
Prior to returning to Rice University, Dr. Lane served in the Federal government as Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, from August 1998 to January 2001, and as Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and member (ex officio) of the National Science Board, from October 1993 to August 1998.
Before becoming the NSF Director, Dr. Lane was Provost and Professor of Physics at Rice University in Houston, Texas, a position he had held since 1986. He first came to Rice in 1966, when he joined the Department of Physics as an assistant professor. In 1972, he became Professor of Physics and Space Physics and Astronomy. He left Rice from mid-1984 to 1986 to serve as Chancellor of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. In addition, from 1979 to 1980, while on leave from Rice, he worked at the NSF as Director of the Division of Physics.
Widely regarded as a distinguished scientist and educator, Dr. Lane’s many writings and presentations include topics in theoretical atomic and molecular physics and science and technology policy. Early in his career he received the W. Alton Jones Graduate Fellowship and held an NSF Doctoral Fellowship (University of Oklahoma), an NSF Post-Doctoral Fellowship (while in residence at Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland) and an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship (at Rice University and on research leave at Oxford University). He earned Phi Beta Kappa honors in 1960 and was inducted into Sigma Xi National Research Society in 1964, serving as its national president in 1993. He served as Visiting Fellow at the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics in 1965-66 and 1975-76. While a Professor at Rice, he was two-time recipient of the University’s George R. Brown Prize for Superior Teaching. Dr. Lane has received numerous prizes, awards, including the AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Award, the AAAS William D. Carey Award, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers President’s Award, the American Chemical Society Public Service Award, the American Astronomical Society /American Mathematical Society/American Physical Society Public Service Award, and many honorary degrees.
Through his work with scientific and professional organizations and his participation on review and advisory committees for Federal and state agencies, Dr. Lane has contributed to public service throughout his career. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for Advancement of Science, the Association for Women in Science and a member of the American Association of Physics Teachers. He serves on several boards and advisory committees.
Born in Oklahoma City in 1938, Dr. Lane earned his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in physics from the University of Oklahoma. He is married to Joni Sue Lane and has two children, Christy Saydjari and John Lane, and four grandchildren, Allia and Alex Saydjari, and Matthew and Jessica Lane.