NSF Convergence Accelerator Phases I and II for the 2021 Cohort
Dr. Lara Campbell is a Program Director for the NSF Convergence Accelerator Program in the Office of Integrative Activities at the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). The Convergence Accelerator is a new organizational structure and activity within the NSF, designed to accelerate the transition of use-inspired convergence research into practice in areas of national importance. A guiding rationale of the Convergence Accelerator is that to achieve progress on scientific and societal challenges it is necessary to develop teams that can share expertise across research fields as well as with multiple partners and stakeholders, including the ultimate users of the research products.
Prior to joining the Convergence Accelerator, Lara was a Program Officer in the NSF Office of International Science and Engineering, where her primary responsibility was to facilitate engagement by NSF and NSF-funded researchers with the Middle East and Africa. She also served as the International Liaison to the NSF Directorate for Engineering and coordinated interagency collaboration by NSF with the U.S. Agency for International Development and the World Bank.
Prior to joining NSF, Lara served as Director of the nonprofit CUBRC Center for International Science and Technology Advancement, where she developed, managed and supported international cooperative research activities primarily funded by the U.S. government (including USAID, the Dept. of State, and the Dept. of Defense). Lara is particularly interested in the interrelationships that help connect research and education to entrepreneurship and from 2008-09 was a Fulbright Scholar conducting regional research on innovation development in the Arab Middle East (Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, and Jordan). Prior to working for CUBRC, Lara was part of the Research Competitiveness Program at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), where she led teams providing advice and guidance on science and technology infrastructure improvement and capacity building. Lara holds a BA in chemistry from Rice University in Houston, Texas and a PhD in synthetic organic and biochemistry from the University of Texas at Austin. She was adjunct faculty at the University of Texas at Austin and conducted postdoctoral research in the Lab of Biochemistry of the Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health.