John Howard "Jack" Gibbons

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John Howard "Jack" Gibbons has served with distinction as an experimental physicist; expert in energy supply and conservation; and environmental technology development. In 1973 at the start of the nation's first major energy crisis he was appointed first director of the Federal Office of Energy Conservation. He returned to Washington in 1979 to direct the U.S. Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, and from 1993-1998 he served in the Clinton-Gore Administration as Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy."[1]

Education and Career

Gibbons holds a B.S. in Mathematics and Chemistry from Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, VA, which he earned in 1949. In 1954, he received his PhD in Physics from Duke University. He also holds honorary degrees from Randolph-Macon College (1977), Illinois Institute of Technology (1994), Mt. Sinai Medical School (1995), University of Delaware (1996), Duke University (1997) and University of Maryland Baltimore County (1997).[2]

In his career, Gibbons held the following positions:[2]

Science Advisor to President Clinton

"As the Science Advisor to the President he was the most senior advisor to the President and Vice President on matters of science and technology policy--one of six Cabinet-level, policy-level assistants to the President. As Science Advisor he also co-chaired the President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology; was a member of the Domestic Policy Council, the National Economic Council, the National Security Council, and was a member and oversaw the National Science and Technology Council (which also contains the functions of the National Space Council). In general, as Science Advisor, he was responsible for coordinating science and technology policy and budgets across the federal government.
"As the highest-ranking science and technology official in the Administration, he also was responsible for representing the U.S. Government in major multilateral and bilateral commissions. Multilateral meetings of Ministers for Science and Technology occur in the Organization for Cooperation and Development, Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum, Summit of the Americas, and among the G-7 nations. High level bilateral meetings require the science adviser's participation in the U.S.-Russia Joint Commission on Economic and Technological Cooperation, the U.S.-South Africa Binational Commission, the U.S.-Japan Joint High Level Committee, and the U.S.-China Joint Commission."[2]

Advisory and Working Committees

Gibbons has served on the following committees:[2]

  • National Academy of Sciences/National Academy of Engineering/National Research Council:
    • Chair, NAE Technology and Peacebuilding Steering Committee (2007 - 2008)
    • Division Advisor, Division on Physical Sciences and Engineering, NRC (2001 - )
    • Special Fields and Interdisciplinary Engineering Peer Committee (2001 - )
    • Member, International Advisory Board, Committee on International Programs (2000 - 2006)
    • Chair, Committee on Improving the Effectiveness of Environmental Nongovernmental Organizations in Russia (2000).
    • Committee on Scientific Communication and National Security (2000).
    • Greatest Engineering Achievements of the 20th Century Selection Committee (1999).
    • Panel on Ensuring the Best Presidential Science and Technology Appointments (2000 2001).
    • Forum on Diversity in the Engineering Workforce (1999 2000).
    • Committee on Balancing Scientific Openness and National Security (1999 2000).
    • Charles Stark Draper Prize Committee (1998 1999).
    • Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable (ex-officio) (1993 1998).
    • An Energy Agenda for the 1990 s Executive Committee (1987 1988).
    • New Medical Devices: Factors Influencing Innovation, Development and Use (1986 1988).
    • Steering Committee, NAE Symposium Series on Technology & Society (1984 1992).
    • Board on Science and Technology in International Development (BOSTID), (1979 - 1987).
    • Chairman, Demand/Conservation Panel, Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems (CONAES) (1976 - 1979).
    • Chairman, Panel on Energy, Natural Resources, and Environment; NAS Study On the U.N. Conference on Science and Technology for Development (1977 - 1978).
    • Committee on Measurements on Energy Consumption (1976).
  • U.S. Congressional Office of Technology Assessment:
    • Director (1979 1992)
    • Chairman, Panel on Residential Energy Conservation Assessment (1977 - 1979).
    • Chairman, Panel on the National Energy Plan Policy Analysis (1977).
    • Chairman, Control and Abatement Technologies Panel, OTA Review of EPA Five Year R&D Plan (1976).
    • Chairman, Conservation Panel, OTA Analysis of the ERDA Plan and Program (1975).
  • Other Advisory and Working Groups:
    • Member, Ad Hoc Advisory Group - Council on Foreign Relations (May-June 2008) Note: Gibbons elected to CFR 1990; resigned 2008.
    • Member, Governor's Commission on Climate Change, Commonwealth of Virginia (2008 - )
    • Member, Agenda 2008 (bipartisan) Study Group on Presidential Science and Technology Assets. Center for the Study of the Presidency. (2007-2008)
    • Member, Advisory Board, Science Progress, journal of science, technology, and human values. The Center for American Progress (Fall 2007 - 2010)
    • Member, Advisory Council, Environmental Studies on the Piedmont (formerly Environmental Studies at Airlie Foundation (2006 - 2008)
    • Member, Advisory Council, Environmental Studies on the Piedmont (formerly Environmental Studies at Airlie Foundation (2006 - 2008)
    • MIT Journal Innovations: Technology/Governance/Globalization, Advisory Board (2005 - )
    • Gas Technology Institute, Strategic Advisory Committee (2003 - 2006)
    • MIT/Alliance for Global Sustainability, Center for Environmental Initiatives, Advisory Committee (2001 - )
    • MIT: Corporation Visiting Committee for the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (2000 - )
    • Vanderbilt University: Advisory Committee, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (2001 - 2002)
    • Eisenhower World Affairs Institute, Senior Advisory Panel on "Ten Years Later: Assessing U.S. Russian Engagement in Space" (2002 - 2003)
    • University of Virginia, Shannon Center for Advanced Studies, Advisory Board (2000 - 2002)
    • World Bank Ad Hoc Panel on Millennium Science Initiatives (Chair) (2000 2001)
    • Smithsonian Institution, Integrating Committee for the National Museum of Natural History, (1999 2000)
    • International Energy Panel, President s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology (1998 2000).
    • National Climate Assessment, Steering Committee (1998 - 2000)
    • Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology and Government, Task Force on Long Term Goals and Priorities in Science and Technology (1990 - 1992).
    • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, International Environmental Technology Transfer Advisory Board (IETTAB), (1989 - 1990).
    • James Madison University, Advisory Panel, Proposed College of Applied Science and Technology (1989)(Vice Chairman)
    • Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, Long Range Planning Committee (1989 - 1992).
    • Electric Power Research Institute Advisory Council (1986 - 1992).
    • TVA - Editorial Board, Forum for Applied Research and Public Policy (1985 - 1992).
    • Stanford University, School of Engineering Advisory Council (1984 - 1989).
    • Aspen Institute, Energy and Resources Committee (1979 - 1992).
    • Stanford University, Senior Advisory Panel, Energy Modeling Forum (1980 - 1992).
    • National Science Foundation, Advisory Panel, Division of Policy Research and Analysis,(1978 - 1979).
    • Georgetown University, Vice Co-Chairman (Industry), Task Force on Fuel Utilization and Conservation, National Coal Policy Project, Center for Strategic Studies (1977 - 1979).
    • National Bureau of Standards, Advisory Committee, Energy Conservation Programs, (1976 - 1979).

Boards of Directors

Gibbons has served on the following boards of directors:[2]

Civic and professional:


Honors, Awards, and Professional Societies

Gibbons has received the following honors:[2]

  • 2009: Energy Efficiency Forum Hall of Fame - Inaugural Honoree - Johnson Controls and the U.S. Energy Association
  • 2008: Randolph-Macon College Society of Alumni, Distinguished Alumni Award
  • 2007: Alliance to Save Energy, Lifetime Achievement Award in Energy Efficiency
  • 2005: U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation, First George E. Brown Award for International Science and Technology Collaboration
  • 2005: Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • 2005: Distinguished Career in Science and Engineering Award, Washington Academy of Sciences
  • 2002 Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges, Inaugural recipient, Alumni Excellence Award
  • 2000-2001: President, Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
  • 1999: Member, American Philosophical Society
  • 1998: National Academy of Engineering, Arthur M. Bueche Award for Statesmanship in the Field of Technology
  • 1998: American Association of Engineering Societies Chairman s Award
  • 1998: National Science Foundation Distinguished Public Service Award
  • 1998: NASA Distinguished Service Medal
  • 1997: Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, John P. McGovern Science and Society Award and Medal.
  • 1997: First Seymour Cray HPCC Industry Recognition Award
  • 1997: Fellow, Association for Women in Science.
  • 1995: Commonwealth of Virginia Life Achievement in Science Award.
  • 1994: Commandeur dans l Ordre des Palmes Academiques Diploma and Medal, Republic of France, for scientific and cultural cooperation between France and the United States.
  • 1994: Member, National Academy of Engineering.
  • 1993: James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA, Distinguished Service Award.
  • 1992: American Association for the Advancement of Science Philip Hauge. Abelson prize, for a public servant, in recognition of sustained exceptional contributions to advancing science.
  • 1991: Federal Republic of Germany, Officer s Cross of the Order of Merit, for contributions to German-American cooperation in science and technology.
  • 1990: American Physical Society, Leo Szilard Award for Physics in the Public Interest.
  • 1990: Federation of American Scientists, Public Service Award.
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
  • Fellow, American Physical Society.
  • Member, Council on Foreign Relations (1990-2008)
  • 1982 - Member, New York Academy of Sciences
  • 1978 - 1979 Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, National Lecturer.
  • 1974 - Federal Energy Administration, Distinguished Service Award.
  • Others: Phi Beta Kappa; Sigma Xi; Omicron Delta Kappa; Sigma Pi Sigma; Pi Mu Epsilon; Pi Gamma Mu.

Books Published

Gibbons has published the following books:[2]

  • Energy: The Conservation Revolution (with William U. Chandler)(New York and London: Plenum Press, 1981)
  • This Gifted Age: Science and Technology in the Millennium (NY: Springer-Verlag Press, 1997).

Contact Information

  • John H. (Jack) Gibbons
  • Resource Strategies
  • P.O. Box 379
  • The Plains, VA 20198
  • Ph: (540) 253-9843
  • Email:
  • Web:

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch Articles


  1. John H. Gibbons John H. Gibbons, personal web page/biosketch, accessed October 23, 2011
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 John H. Gibbons, Accessed October 23, 2011.

External Resources

External Articles