My Candidacy in ACS 2013 Presidential Election

In the Fall of 2013, I had the humbling honor of being one of three candidates to be on the ballot for 2014 ACS President-Elect.  Although I came in second in this election, I found it a challenging and unique experience, one that taught me a lot about what matters to ACS Members, and what chemistry can do to address global challenges.

The final vote tally in the general election was as follows:

Outcome of 2013 General Election (* indicates elected candidates)

Bryan Balazs 9,638

Charles E. Kolb 6,512

*Diane Grob Schmidt 11,623 (ran as a petition candidate)

Total votes cast: 27,773 (includes 2nd place tallies)

Here are some of the endorsements that I had in this 2013 election:

“I have had the privilege of knowing and working with Dr. Balazs for several years and I can say without hesitation that he has my unconditional support in his bid for president-elect of the American Chemical Society.  Bryan is accomplished in his field and has been widely recognized for his excellence.  He is an exceptional leader.  His service to the ACS includes significant leadership and committee activity at both the local and National levels.  Bryan is committed to chemical education, the productive application of our discipline, STEM outreach and I know that he is proud to be a chemist, (improving people’s lives through the transforming power of chemistry!)  He says it better, “It’s an exciting time to be a chemist!” and I could not agree more!” – Thomas H. Lane, Ph.D., 2009 President of the ACS

“I have known Dr. Balazs for a number of years. I had the pleasure of working with him when we both served on the Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs. I was very impressed with his action and results oriented approach. He is dedicated and is passionate about education and helping members to advance their careers. He is open to new ideas and himself is full of ideas and has the discipline to put them in action. I believe that Dr. Balazs will use his energy, ideas and the commitment to the profession of chemistry to advance the cause of chemistry and the professionals in chemistry”  – Dr. Sadiq Shah, 2011-2012 Chair of ComSci and former Chair of CEPA


“Having worked with Bryan for several years, I can unequivocally say that he would be an outstanding President of the ACS. Bryan matches a keen intellect with a true love for the chemical profession; qualities that I have directly benefited from in our current relationship as committee chair and ConC liaison. Byran is passionate about supporting young scientists and helping them achieve success. As ACS President, I know that Byran would be a strong role model for young scientist entering the profession and cannot think of an individual more capable of nurturing the future of the Society and our younger members.” – Dr. Dorothy J Miller, 2011 – 2013 Chair of YCC

“I can wholeheartedly support Bryan Balazs’s candidacy for President of the American Chemical Society. Bryan has worked tirelessly for the Society and the profession of chemistry. His service on many committees has demonstrated his commitment to supporting the Society’s priorities, as well as his deep concern for promoting both a positive view of chemistry among the public and enhanced chemical employment opportunities in the United States. I interacted with him most strongly during his years as a member and later as chair of the Society Committee on Education. Bryan was a thoughtful leader and an ardent supporter of the Society’s key role in promoting all levels of education in the chemical sciences. His sound judgement, strong communication skills, professional experience at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, and extensive prior service to the ACS are all factors that make him an excellent choice for the office of President.”  – Professor Joe Heppert, Professor and Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies, University of Kansas, and former SOCED Chair.


“I support Bryan Balazs for President-Elect of the American Chemical Society.  His efforts as Chair of SOCED and his international leadership for the International Chemistry Olympiad have demonstrated a keen dedication to education and the promotion of the chemical sciences.  Seeing first-hand his interactions with society and international leaders, I am confident that Bryan would effectively advance the causes of the American Chemical Society.” – Mike Doyle, University of Maryland, Chair of the Scientific Committee for the 2012 International Chemistry Olympiad held at UMD

“I’ve known Bryan for several years, but first worked with him when I was Chair of the Younger Chemists Committee and he was our Committee on Committees Liaison. During our work together, he helped council me during a large transition in organization structure and his sage advice was one of the things that made the change so successful. I was always impressed by Bryan’s thoughtful approach to any situation. He was easy to work with as he made you feel that your concerns were the most important and he was committed to helping you work out a solution. His selfless and quite demeanor allows him to forge relationships across all sectors and will suit him well as President of the ACS. Bryan also has a thoughtful, confidence that helps him drive change for the things he’s passionate about. I can’t imagine a more appropriate choice for President of the ACS than Bryan.” – Mick Hurrey, Former Chair of the Younger Chemists Committee and Division of Business Development and Management


“I have known Bryan for the past four years through his engagement with the YCC.  His passion and dedication to the Society has always impressed me.  His experience and extensive knowledge regarding the Society coupled with his desire to improve the lives of others through his volunteering makes him an ideal candidate for ACS president.”  – Doug Hausner, Secretary YCC, Philadelphia Section Board of Directors

“I would like to endorse Bryan Balazs for the Presidency of the American Chemical Society for the term starting in 2014. In the 3 years that I’ve gotten to know Bryan, I have been most impressed by his vast knowledge of the society and its inner workings and his strong sense of community. As a young chemist myself, I think Bryan would be the first candidate in a while that really understands our constituency and knows all the issues affecting us. Having said that, I think he has the unique skillset to maintain or even elevate the current standing of the society while also setting its future on a solid footing.  For these reasons, I urge you to make Bryan Balazs the next president of our great society.”  – Wasiu Adedapo Lawal, Member, Younger Chemists Committee

“I have known and worked with Bryan for the past 15 years, having first met him while I was a visiting scientist at LLNL and as an adopted member of the California local section for nearly three years. Since those first days, we have worked together on ACS activities from Pacifichem to the Committee on Committees (ConC). He brings a tremendous amount of experience from his years of service in ACS governance and his international interactions as a member of the Pacifichem Organizing Committee to the position of President–Elect. His straight-forward, direct approach to issues and willingness to look for compromise are talents that will serve an ACS President well. I encourage you to join me in supporting Bryan Balazs for ACS President-Elect.” – Dr. Chris Bannochie, ACS Fellow, Councilor, and Fellow Scientist at the Savannah River National Laboratory.

“I have known Bryan for almost a decade, first through his work on the Committee for Economic and Professional Affairs, and more recently with his work on globalization and as a volunteer presenter for the ACS Career Pathways workshops. I have long been impressed with Bryan’s professionalism, his willingness to help, and his commitment to serve his profession at the local, national, and international levels. He is a tireless volunteer, and his calm demeanor and matter of fact attitude make him a pleasure to work with. Over the years, his commitment, responsibilities, and passion for promoting both chemistry and chemists have only grown, along with my respect for his abilities. I have every confidence that he will make an excellent ACS president, and I am pleased to support his candidacy.” – Lisa M. Balbes, Ph.D., Balbes Consultants LLC

“I strongly endorse Bryan Balazs to be the next President of the American Chemical Society. Bryan has shown his commitment at the local section and National level to promote education, careers and public outreach. Bryan has been an active volunteer in the California Section’s Chemistry Olympiad program for nearly 20 years, and was the Chair of the International Steering Committee of the International Chemistry Olympiad in 2012 when the US was host at the University of Maryland. Brian’s contributions as a councilor, on ACS National Committees including Chair of the Education Committee (SOCED) and countless activities show a proven track record to be President.” – Al Verstuyft, Ph.D., California Section and local Chemistry Olympiad Coordinator

“Bryan Balazs is uniquely qualified to become the next President-elect of the American Chemical Society.  I first knew Bryan as a new post-doc at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory at which time he enthusiastically joined in the activities of our local ACS Section.  Since the beginning of his involvement, he has worked tirelessly at ever-higher levels of the organization while continuing to serve his local section (last year he was Chair of the California Section).

Bryan has always supported local outreach activities while at the same time he has served on numerous committees at the national level, including chairing the Chemistry Olympiad that was hosted in the USA last year.  This is what is so unique about Bryan as an ACS Presidential Candidate.  He has been fully involved in both local and national activities for many years and has a clear understanding of the needs of all our members.  Please, join me in supporting Bryan Balazs for President-elect of the American Chemical Society.”  – Mary F. Singleton, ACS Fellow and former colleague at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

“I have known Bryan since we served together on the Graduate Education Advisory Board of the ACS in 2007.  He was simultaneously working on the ACS Board-Presidential Task Force on Education at that time. The vision, expertise and leadership that Bryan brought to the table as well as his understanding of undergraduate, graduate education and the tools needed for professional growth and development were outstanding! Even though I was a graduate student member then, Bryan extended the same respect and attention to my ideas and opinions, making him very personable and a great team player to work with. When I approached Bryan for advice on professional advancement after graduate school, he made the effort to introduce me to several people, which was very beneficial. Bryan made it a point to stay connected even after my tenure on GEAB and was always available to provide advice when needed.


Bryan Balazs is a very well qualified, caring and personable individual, whom I had the pleasure of knowing personally. I cannot think of a better person than Bryan Balazs to be the President-elect of the American Chemical Society and I endorse him whole-heartedly. Looking forward to see Bryan’s accomplishments as the president of ACS.”  – Naresh Sunkara, Postdoctoral Research Scientist, and Special Advisor to the Vice-Chancellor for research, University of California, Berkeley

“I would like to give my whole-hearted support to Bryan Balazs and his candidacy for ACS President-Elect. I have known Bryan for almost 25 years and he has always been dedicated to advancing science, and in particular, he has been a tireless advocate and supporter of the American Chemical Society and its missions. He has served the Society in many ways, including serving on various committees at the local and national level. He has been a strong supporter of education for our future generations of scientists, from performing science demonstrations to inspire local middle and high school students to being the Chair of 44th International Chemistry Olympiad that was held last summer in Maryland (and where the US team competed against the world’s best and brought home a gold and three silver metals). He has also served on several ACS Committees for promoting and improving STEM education in the US. In addition to its efforts to improve education, Bryan realizes that the ACS must continue to offer broader Career assistance to our students who are graduating with degrees in chemistry and the sciences. Promoting the opportunities that the skill sets of chemists have to non-traditional employers of scientists is one way to broaden the job market for future ACS members.  In conclusion, I feel Bryan has both the breadth of experience and a vision of the future for the ACS that we need. Bryan has the passion and tireless dedication to improving the Society that is required for this position. He would make an excellent leader for the next three years.”  – John C. Bart, Ph.D., Director of Manufacturing, Intuitive Biosciences, Inc., ACS member since 1990


“have known Bryan for several years now by serving on the YCC where he is our ConC liaison.  His passion accompanied by many years of ACS experiences made him an invaluable asset to our committee work.  His commitment to the success of younger chemists is inspiring and he is truly a mentor.  In my work promoting international collaborations with other younger chemists worldwide, I benefit from his support in helping me to maneuver through ACS policies and referral to collateral efforts in other committees.  I support Bryan Balazs for President of the ACS because I believe in his commitment and experiences! – Jens Breffke, International Presence Workgroup Leader on the YCC

“I’ve known Bryan for many years. Although our professional interests, division and committee assignments, and geographical locations are different, whenever I see Bryan at an ACS meeting, he always has something interesting to say and he is quite the resource when questions arise about ACS operations, science policy, or anything else that impacts the life of a chemical professional. Bryan knows how to break down complicated technical problems and formulate tractable solutions, something that all leaders should be able to do. Bryan is quite knowledgeable about the current state of technical divisions and local sections – the parts of ACS that most members interact with – and he has some good ideas for improving what ACS can do for its members. Of course, the members must do a lot, too, and Bryan is an excellent example of a dedicated, tireless, and passionate volunteer member of ACS. Bryan is extremely efficient in his due diligence of ACS tasks, quickly understands diverse views, and has used his skill-set to form coalitions to solve problems; I have no doubt that Bryan will continue on that trajectory. Bryan is uniquely qualified to lead ACS and advance the causes of science education, research, industrial innovation, and the stature of chemical professionals. Please join me in supporting Bryan for ACS President.”  – Joseph E. Sabol, Ph.D., SCHB Program Chair and Upper Peninsula Section Treasurer