Alan Leshner, CEO Emeritus, American Association for the Advancement of Science


Leshner served as Chief Executive Officer of AAAS and executive publisher of the journal Science from 2001 to 2015. AAAS, founded in 1848, is the world's largest, multi-disciplinary scientific and engineering society. Before coming to AAAS, Leshner was director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) from 1994-2001.  Prior to this position, he was deputy director and acting director of the National Institute of Mental Health.

He went to NIMH from the National Science Foundation (NSF), where he held a variety of senior positions, focusing on basic research in the biological, behavioral and social sciences, science policy and science education. Leshner went to NSF after 10 years at Bucknell University, where he was professor of psychology. He has also held long-term appointments at the Postgraduate Medical School in Budapest, Hungary; at the Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center and as a Fulbright Scholar at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. He is the author of a major textbook on the relationship between hormones and behavior, and has published more than 150 papers for both the scientific and lay communities on the biology of behavior, science and technology policy, science education, and public engagement with science.

Leshner received an undergraduate degree in psychology from Franklin and Marshall College, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in physiological psychology from Rutgers University. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science and serves as Vice Chairman of the IOM Council. The U.S. President appointed Leshner to the National Science Board in 2004.