CarolDuane high res headshot 2016 (1)

Carol A. Duane

D&D Consultants of Mentor

Candidate for ACS President-Elect, 2019

Q&A

Why are you running for President-Elect?

I see the role of President-Elect as the global voice of chemistry. I want to enhance ACS’ role as the authority for our science, the chemical enterprise and its professionals, by empowering our members, collaborating with enterprise leaders, and fostering strategic and innovative approaches to address tomorrow’s critical issues.

What are the top changes/improvements that you believe would improve ACS? How would you tackle these during your Presidential succession?

ACS recognizes that the challenges and opportunities of the chemical enterprise must be addressed strategically and globally. We’ve made a strong commitment to a strategic management of our resources for optimal impact to achieve our Mission. I will encourage and support all grassroots units in their strategic planning and implementation efforts

How and when did you get started in ACS?

I have volunteered in ACS for more than 30 years at every level: Northeastern Ohio local section councilor (20+ years), Chair of the CINF and BMGT divisions, Chair of ConC, Vice-chair of N&E, member of MAC, DAC and numerous work groups and task forces. I am currently co-chair of the Leadership Advisory Board, regional meetings chair and alternate councilor for BMGT, program review subcommittee chair for B&F, and a facilitator for the Strategic Planning Retreats and the Extraordinary Leader course and a member of the Next Generation Leadership Task Force. You can check out my entire service history on the ACS elections page or on my website at https://caroladuane.com.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment within ACS?

The ACS Leadership Development System, the ACS Strategic Planning Retreats, and the Chemistry Plus series of symposia.

Outside of ACS?

As a member of an executive leadership development team, establishing a drug development services start up and starting my own consulting business.
Personally -
Captaining a women’s USTA team that went to regional playoffs.

5. What is the Society’s greatest need/challenge and, if elected how would you address it?

The challenge I see is providing value to members so they are incentivized to develop into highly effective professionals who want to address today’s critical issues. I would strongly support implementation of the next generation leadership and career development programs currently being envisioned.

Given that the Younger Chemists Committee is a voice for ACS members under the age of 35 and our constituency makes up over 20% of ACS members, how do you plan to use the Committee, or younger chemists in general, to achieve your goals as ACS President?

YCC has reached out to us on LAB to develop a deeper collaboration which we are developing. I work with and mentor younger chemists in my division, local section and in my committee assignments. I see integrating younger chemists into governance and leadership roles as a win-win: for ACS which benefits from different perspectives and attitudes; and for younger members who get to practice leadership and other soft skills in non-threatening environments.

What do you think the Society can do to improve the public perception of science?

ACS has excellent Communications and Outreach programs to tell the public about the fun and wonders of chemistry. We should emphasize the solutions that chemistry can and does provide. The slogan of yesteryear ‘Better living through chemistry’ is really true.

How can younger chemists best advocate for science funding, and commercial investments in R&D?

ACS provides advocacy training and many opportunities to speak to legislators and even work as a congressional fellow. These are all available to chemists young or otherwise.
On the commercial side, there are also many academic-industry and entrepreneurial development networks where R&D investments can be leveraged.

Please share your ideas to improve career development for chemists pursuing careers outside of academia, and even outside of the lab.

There are wonderful careers for chemists outside of academia and outside of the laboratory. I myself am a good example, since I got my start as an information chemist by learning coding and programming to use alongside my organic chemistry and later adding communication, marketing and entrepreneurial skills to move to the business side.

In developing the Chemistry Plus series I searched for chemists who leveraged their passions, interests, and other talents to utilize their technical knowledge, analytical and problem solving skills as chemists to become successful artists, writers, publishers, business and association executives, forensic detectives, attorneys, philanthropists, and more. They looked for and took advantage of opportunities where chemistry plus gave them a career boost or even a complete reboot.

Focusing on building leadership skills is an excellent way to boost your career, particularly in the corporate and entrepreneurial realms. Many of the skills in the LDS are what corporate talent managers look for when hiring and promoting.

Developing a career takes some soul searching, building skills, using many talents and being open to opportunity.

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Carol A. Duane