Science supremo to leave Science Foundation Ireland

13 Sep 2005

Dr William Harris will next summer depart as director general of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) to take up an academic position in his native US.

Harris was appointed to his current position in September 2001 on a five-year contract until September 2006. He informed the SFI board in May that he would not be seeking a renewal of his contact. He will continue working as director general until he takes up his post as provost and vice-president for academic affairs at California Polytechnic State University in California. He will leave SFI in July 2006 when he will take up his position in the US.

Commenting on his departure, Harris said, “I love working in Ireland and I felt deeply honoured to have had the opportunity to serve Ireland in building a vibrant research community. Over the past number of years Irish scientific research has undergone considerable change and I am proud to say that SFI has played a significant role in this transformation. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Taoiseach Bertie Ahern TD, Minister for Enterprise Micheál Martin TD and his predecessor Tánaiste Mary Harney TD for their support and commitment to SFI.”

SFI said it had already embarked on the task of finding a successor to Harris.

By Brian Skelly