Marcia McNutt ’74 is set to become the first woman president of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the government’s premier science advisory organization.

McNutt, who graduated summa cum laude with a degree in physics, has been editor-in-chief of the Science family of journals since 2013. Prior to joining Science as its 19th editor-in-chief and the first woman to hold that position, McNutt served as head of the U.S. Geological Survey, where she was the first woman director in the organization’s 130-year history. Earlier, she was president and chief executive officer of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and a professor of geophysics at Stanford University. A geophysicist who earned her Ph.D. in earth sciences at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, she began her faculty career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In a statement, McNutt said she was “immensely honored” to be nominated to lead NAS, an organization that she said “represents the highest standards of scientific honesty, quality, and integrity.”

McNutt is slated to succeed Ralph J. Cicerone when his second term as president ends on July 1, 2016.  Her name will be presented to the full membership for formal ratification on Dec. 15. The National Academy of Sciences, a private, non-profit institution founded in 1863, is charged with providing independent, objective advice to the country on science and technology issues.

Learn more about McNutt at CC’s Faces of Innovation.