Video Statement:

Lee H. Latimer, Ph.D.

Candidate for ACS Director at Large


Lee H. Latimer

Candidate, Director at Large, 2016-2018

​(see September 14, 2015 issue of C&EN

The ACS has made a critical difference at every phase of my career.  Working on challenges for the ACS has been a productive and rewarding opportunity to apply my experience.  I want to share with you my focus and enthusiasm and hope to receive one of your votes to take the momentum of my efforts to the Board of Directors.

As a professional society, we have unparalleled volunteer and financial resources to benefit members, chemistry and science.  The transformations in the employment landscape for chemists at all stages of their careers are critical issues, both in type of work and location.  The ACS provides many opportunities to develop, grow, lead and achieve.  With careful resource management, experimentation and vision, the Board can look beyond the moment in meeting the ACS Strategic Plan built with the voices of volunteer leaders and regular members. 

A co-worker’s request for help began my ACS career over three decades ago.  At each move in my career, I found ACS friends and resources critically important to finding new positions and getting started.  I’ve also been able to significantly assist ACS colleagues in finding new positions through my network.  My outstanding member benefit has been networking!

I’ve worked in large and small companies that have dissolved beneath me.  I now work in a small company, increasingly the path for chemists. The virtual nature of the company and its videoconference style gives me the time flexibility to meet the challenges of serving on the Board.

Throughout my ACS career, involvement at the section, division and national level has been delightful and rewarding.  In recent years I’ve worked with the Board and other leaders in critical decision areas as chair of the Committee on Local Section Activities (LSAC) and its subcommittee on Innovative Project Grants (IPGs), and as a member of the Council Policy Committee (CPC) and chair of CPC task forces on travel reimbursements and the divisors.  As leader of the Local Section Track in the Leadership Institute, I heard directly about the issues of local sections.  These efforts have given me a thorough knowledge of ACS governance, structure and resources, key member issues, local section and division issues and activities.  Committee work continues to build the network of members and staff that I am delighted to call friends and collaborators.

Now and in the future, the Board and Council face a changing landscape of substantial issues in information management and publications, education support and development, breadth of access and opportunity for budding scientists in a diverse America, continual turnover/outsourcing of industrial positions, growing jobs in a global environment, and a solid public understanding of science and chemistry and their contributions.  The efforts of sections and divisions “on the ground” are critical to success.  I believe achieving progress in these and other areas comes incrementally by focus, care and experiment.

I particularly want to work with the Board, Council, members and staff in the following areas.  We need greater member engagement in local sections and divisions, especially by our industrial members who make up over half the membership.  Successful communication and direct interaction have a major impact on member retention and participation.

Increased communication of our public advocacy to members and the public is a critical need to inform and amplify our messages in STEM, job creation and training.  I would also like to see a greater effect externally of our public advocacy through the leverage of 160,000 members. 

Education support and engagement are critical to the success of all students, K though career.  Besides the substantial efforts in our Education Division, there are many programs in local sections and divisions that support and enhance education.  We need to highlight these programs and grow and develop others. 

Regional meetings are great achievements in volunteer service and play a critical part in the range of ACS opportunities, often being more accessible than national meetings to many members.  I want to focus greater ACS resources to enhance the ability of local sections to host a meeting.

The ACS is about opportunity for its members in so many ways.  It has certainly been so for me.  I enjoy meeting new challenges and colleagues in teams, and applying my experience to make a difference.  I ask for your vote to join the ACS Board of Directors and their work to keep the opportunities flowing.