February 17, 2017
The National Society of Black Physicists honors Dr. Kennedy Reed.
Dr. Kennedy J. Reed was born on May 24, 1944, in Memphis, Tennessee. He is an African American theoretical atomic physicist. Reed earned his B.S. in physics from Monmouth College in 1967. He then earned his M.S.T. in physics from the University of Wisconsin-Superior in 1971. He completed his Ph.D. in theoretical atomic physics from the University of Nebraska in 1976. Prior to his current employment position, Dr. Reed was a professor of physics at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. He has also been a visiting scientist at the Hahn-Meitner Institute in Germany and at the University College in London in the U.K., and has served on the review panels for the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and the National Research Council.
In 1997 and 1999 Reed was a visiting scientist at University Cheikh Anta Diop in Senegal, and at the University of Cape Coast in Ghana – under the auspices of the Visiting Scholars Program of the International Center for Theoretical Physics in Trieste. He has presented scientific lectures at universities in a number of other African countries, and has organized international conferences and workshops connected with physics in Africa. He has been Vice Chair of the APS Committee on International Scientific Affairs; a member of the APS Task Force on Research Collaborations with Africa; and is the U.S. representative on the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) Commission on Physics for Development. He has also organized U.S. visits for African physicists including formal meetings and presentations at universities and high-level meetings in Washington, DC with government agencies such as the National Science Foundation, USAID, American Astronomical Society, and United States National Research Council and is on the international advisory panel for the African School on Electronic Structure Methods and Applications.
In 2003, Dr. Kennedy Reed received the American Physical Society’s John Wheatley Award. He was the recipient of the 2009 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring from President Barack Obama and named a fellow of the American Physical Society. In 2011, he was awarded the distinction of being elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), in recognition of his important studies in atomic theory and successful efforts to increase minority participation in the physical sciences in the United States and Africa. He chairs the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics Commission on Physics for Development, has served on the APS Committee on Minorities in Physic, chairs the APS Bouchet Prize Committee, and currently serves on the National Academy of Sciences Board on International Scientific Organizations and is a charter fellow. He has also served as President of the National Society of Black Physicists.
Dr. Kennedy Reed currently serves as a theoretical atomic physicist in the Theory Group in the Physics & Advanced Technologies Directorate at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). Dr. Reed has been a leader in developing and directing national programs to encourage U.S. students to pursue advanced degrees and careers in the physical sciences. He is the founding director of the LLNL Research Collaborations Program for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Institutions - an innovative program that links Laboratory scientists with professors and students in forefront research that benefits the Laboratory and strengthens the research and training capabilities of the universities. He is a co-founder of the National Physical Science Consortium (NPSC) - a national coalition of corporations, national laboratories and universities organized to provide fellowships to support graduate studies in the physical sciences. To-date, Dr. Reed has helped more than 100 such students to earn their doctorates and awarded over 300 graduate fellowships through NPSC. He is an Associate Director for Education and Outreach at the NSF Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology at the University of California, Davis. In 2005 the California section of the American Physical Society created an award in honor of Dr. Reed, and annually presents the Kennedy Reed Award to recognize Excellence in Theoretical Research performed by graduate students.