Rush D. Holt is the 18th chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and executive publisher of the Science family of journals. In this role, Holt leads the world’s largest multi-disciplinary scientific and engineering society.
Over his career, Dr. Holt has held positions as a teacher, scientist, administrator and policymaker. From 1987 to 1998, Holt was assistant director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, a Department of Energy national lab, which is the largest research facility of Princeton University and one of the largest alternative energy research facilities in the country. From 1980 to 1988, Holt served on the faculty of Swarthmore College, where he taught courses in physics and public policy. In 1982, he took leave from Swarthmore to serve as an AAAS/American Physical Society Science and Technology Policy Fellow on Capitol Hill. He also served as an arms control expert at the U.S. State Department, where he monitored the nuclear programs of countries such as Iraq, Iran, North Korea and the former Soviet Union. In 1981, Holt was issued a patent for an improved solar-pond technology for harnessing energy from sunlight.
Before coming to AAAS, Holt served for 16 years as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District. In Congress, Holt served as a senior member of the Committee on Natural Resources and the Committee on Education and the Workforce. On Capitol Hill, Holt established a long track record of advocacy for federal investment in research and development, science education, and innovation. He served on the National Commission on the Teaching of Mathematics and Science (known as the Glenn Commission), founded the Congressional Research and Development Caucus, and served as a co-chair of the Biomedical Research Caucus. Holt served eight years on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and, from 2007 to 2010, chaired the Select Intelligence Oversight Panel, which worked to strengthen legislative oversight of the intelligence community.
Holt is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Carleton College, and he holds MA and PhD degrees in physics from New York University.