President’s Distinguished Lecture Series

This newly established President’s Distinguished Lecture Series invites notable leaders of world-renowned research organizations, universities and other industries to share their expertise with the University of Missouri community. The topics and guests will span various disciplines with each lecturer leading a discussion about the grand challenges facing society — and how Mizzou is poised to address them through our mission of teaching, research and outreach.

The Honorable Sethuraman Panchanathan

Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan, Director of the National Science Foundation, is the inaugural speaker of the President’s Distinguished Lecture series.

Innovation Anywhere, Opportunities Everywhere: Accelerating the Frontiers of Science & Technology

Monday, April 24, 2023 | 10-11 a.m.
Monsanto Auditorium, Bond Life Sciences Center

This event is open to the public.

For over 70 years, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has powered discovery and innovation across all fields of science and engineering. This ability to support fundamental research over the long term while making strategic investments in the future has brought NSF to a moment of tremendous potential. NSF now stands poised to build on its legacy and fuel innovation and invention across the country. By harnessing STEM talent across the nation and expanding partnerships, NSF will facilitate exponential breakthroughs in science, technology, and innovation for decades to come.

About Director Sethuraman Panchanathan

Director Panchanathan, a computer scientist and engineer, is the 15th director of the National Science Foundation (NSF). He was nominated to his position in 2019 by the President of the United States, and in June 2020, the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed his appointment. NSF is a $9.5 billion independent federal agency and the only government agency charged with advancing all fields of scientific discovery, technological innovation and STEM education.

Panchanathan is a leader in science, engineering and education with more than three decades of experience. He has a distinguished career in both higher education and government, where he has designed and built knowledge enterprises, which advance research innovation, strategic partnerships, entrepreneurship, global development and economic growth.

As director, Panchanathan maintains leadership roles on several key interagency councils and committees, including as co-chair of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship and is a member of the White House CHIPS Implementation Steering Council and the White House Gender Policy Council. He is also chair of the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee and co-vice chair of the Council for Inclusive Innovation.

Panchanathan’s scientific contributions have advanced the areas of human-centered multimedia computing, haptic user interfaces and ubiquitous computing technologies for enhancing the quality of life for individuals with different abilities; machine learning for multimedia applications; and media processor designs. He has received numerous awards for these contributions, including Honorary Doctorates from prestigious universities, Distinguished Alumnus Awards, the Governor’s Innovator of the Year for Academia Award, the Washington Academy of Sciences Distinguished Career Award and the IEEE-USA Public Service Award. You can find more information about Director Panchanathan here.

Please RSVP by April 14.

Limited in-person seating.

For questions contact University Events at or 573-882-0607.