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Dr. John H. Marburger, III, Appointed Interim Vice President For Research At Stony Brook University

Jack marburger web

Dr. John H. Marburger, III, Appointed Interim Vice President For Research At Stony Brook University

STONY BROOK, NY, December 10, 2009 – President Samuel L. Stanley, Jr., M.D. announced today that John H. Marburger, III has agreed to serve as the Interim Vice President for Research at Stony Brook University effective January 21, 2010. Dr. Marburger (Jack) was Stony Brook’s third president (1980-1994), Director of Brookhaven National Laboratory (1998-2001), Science Advisor to President George W. Bush, 

Jack marburger web
John H. Marburger, III

and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (2001-2009). He takes over after Professor Gail S. Habicht, PhD, Vice President for Research at Stony Brook since 1997, announced her decision to step down in October to pursue her interests in research, teaching and travel. 

Dr. Marburger came to Long Island in 1980 from the University of Southern California where he had been a Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering, serving consecutively as Physics Department Chairman and Dean of the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences in the 1970’s. Professor Marburger was born on Staten Island, N.Y., grew up in Maryland near Washington D.C. and attended Princeton University (A.B. Physics 1962) and Stanford University (Ph.D. Applied Physics 1967). He is married to the former Carol Godfrey and lives in Port Jefferson, New York. 

“Jack Marburger is both a renowned scientist and administrator,” said President Stanley. “His institutional knowledge of Stony Brook and Brookhaven National Lab, as well as his depth and breadth of knowledge and experience in technology transfer, federally sponsored scientific research, and his interest in education and students at all levels, enables him to transition easily as an interim leader for our research enterprise as we embark on the search for a permanent appointment.” 

“I’m glad to help President Stanley as he leads Stony Brook into a new decade of challenges and opportunities,” says Marburger, “The university is well poised to grow in its value to New York State and the nation, especially through its missions of research and regional development that the Research Office supports.  My job is to prepare the way for my successor to succeed.” 

While at the University of Southern California, Marburger contributed as a theoretical physicist to the fields of nonlinear optics and quantum optics, which he continues to teach at Stony Brook.  He was a co-founder of the University’s Center for Laser Studies, a consultant at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory on high power laser phenomena, and a frequent public speaker on science, hosting a series of educational programs called “Frontiers of Electronics” on CBS television. 

Dr. Marburger’s presidency at Stony Brook coincided with the opening and growth of University Hospital and the development of the biological sciences as a major strength of the university. During the 1980’s federally sponsored scientific research at Stony Brook grew to exceed that of any other public university in the northeastern United States. 

During his presidency, Dr. Marburger served on numerous boards and committees, including chairmanship of the governor’s commission on the Shoreham Nuclear Power facility, and chairmanship of the 80 campus “Universities Research Association” which operates Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Chicago and operated the Superconducting Super Collider Laboratory during the lifetime of that project. He served as a trustee of Princeton University and a trustee or director of many other organizations. 

Dr. Marburger was the first president of Brookhaven Science Associates, a partnership of the State University Research Foundation and Battelle Memorial Institute that successfully bid to operate Brookhaven National Laboratory under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (1997). Under Dr. Marburger’s Directorship, the Laboratory commissioned the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), achieved ISO14001 certification of the laboratory’s environmental management system, and significantly improved support for the Laboratory by the surrounding community. 

Dr. Marburger’s tenure as the President’s Science Advisor, the longest in history, began immediately following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and included major policy initiatives associated with the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security, re-orientation of the nation’s space policy following the crash of the Columbia space shuttle in 2003, the U.S. re-entry in the international nuclear fusion program ITER, and the American Competitiveness Initiative that aimed to double federal funding for the physical sciences and engineering. He and senior OSTP officials led U.S. delegations to critical international negotiating meetings on internet governance, telecommunications spectrum allocations, and climate change including the influential summary reports of the International Panel on Climate Change, securing Administration support for the reports as a foundation for subsequent Administration policymaking. Serving during a time of deep political and ideological divisions, especially regarding climate change and human embryonic stem cell research, Dr. Marburger brought high standards of fairness and objectivity to the science policy process, and launched a movement to strengthen the “science of science policy” that achieved international recognition. 

“I started working with Jack about 20 years ago,” said Vice President Habicht. “He has a broad background in both research administration and research policy, and his experience should serve us well in representing Stony Brook’s needs.”

Stony Brook University (SBU), a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and one of only 94 institutions in the country to be designated a “Very High Research University” by the Carnegie Foundation, finished FY 2009 with $173M in sponsored program expenditures. SBU’s tripartite mission of education, research, and public service is supported by extramural funding from both public and private sponsors, predominantly the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, and NY State. SBU has the most active and successful technology licensing program in the SUNY system and is consistently ranked within the top 25 programs nationally according to the Association of University Technology Managers, with SBU faculty responsible for more than 1,400 inventions and 400 active patents. SBU accounts for over 95% of the aggregate licensing revenues system-wide. SBU co-manages Brookhaven National Laboratory, joining an elite group of universities–including Berkeley, University of Chicago, Cornell, MIT, and Princeton that run federal research and development laboratories. The Offices of the Vice President for Research include
the Offices of Sponsored Programs, Grants Management, Multidisciplinary Research, Research Compliance, Economic Development and Technology Licensing and Industry Relations. For more information about SBU’s research enterprise, see
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