Amazon VP Babak Parviz appointed to AAAS Board of Directors


The Board of Directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the Science family of journals, announced earlier today that it has unanimously appointed Amazon vice president Babak Parviz to its board of directors.

Parviz, PhD, and biologist Juan S. Ramírez Lugo, PhD, were unanimously voted as new directors at the AAAS board’s December 2021 meeting. They officially began their service at the board’s February 2022 meeting.

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Parviz’s research interests lie in photonics and nanodevices and biosystems; novel communication and computing paradigms; biotechnology; nano and micro technology; and engineering at scale. He has led the development of new products including Amazon Care, Amazon Glow, Amazon Explore, and others. Prior to Amazon, he worked at Google, where he founded, built, and led the Google Glass project. Parviz also serves as an affiliate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Washington. He earned a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan.

“I’m honored to be appointed to the AAAS Board and look forward to serving our shared mission of advancing science, engineering, and innovation to improve lives around the globe,” said Parviz, in an AAAS press release announcing the appointments. “As we discussed at the recent AAAS Annual Meeting, scientific partnership and collaboration across government, academia, and industry are critical to solve the world’s greatest challenges.”

Parviz will serve a three-year term through February 2025 as one of four appointed directors. The AAAS constitution allows for the Board to appoint additional directors to share expertise outside of what the elected directors provide.

Ramírez Lugo, an associate professor of biology at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras (UPR-RP), fills the vacancy created by Alondra Nelson, PhD, a sociologist appointed by President Biden in January 2021 to serve as deputy director for science and society at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Nelson was recently appointed to serve as interim director of OSTP. Ramírez Lugo will serve the remainder of Dr. Nelson’s term through February 2024.

“I’m beyond thrilled to welcome Juan and Babak, two exceptional scientists who will bring a wonderful diversity of thought and perspective to our deliberations during a most critical time for the organization,” said Claire M. Fraser, PhD, immediate past chair of the AAAS Board of Directors and director of the Institute for Genome Sciences and Dean’s Endowed Professor of Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes more than 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals.

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