Speaker Profile

JD Swanson

Dr. JD Swanson

Program Director, NSF

Since 2017, Dr. JD Swanson has served as a Program Director in the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) in the Office of the Director at the National Science Foundation (NSF), Alexandria VA. There he develops scientific research infrastructure in U.S. States, Territories, and Commonwealths that are historically underfunded to develop their research capacity. This work contributes to the overall United States’ research capacity by ensuring all individuals have the opportunity to participate in the nation’s STEM enterprise. As part of his NSF duties, he has worked for the Office of the Assistant Director in the Directorate of the Biological Sciences at NSF to develop and lead new strategies to connect the Biological Science community to the new Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships directorate at NSF ensuring that research supported by NSF can be directly connected to outcomes.

Over the 15 years before becoming a public servant, Swanson was a professor at several universities in Pennsylvania, Arkansas, and Rhode Island, where he had the opportunity to serve as a tenured professor, Department Chair, and Class Dean. At these institutions, he helped build statewide and institutional research infrastructure, and taught and mentored students both in his research laboratory and the classroom. His research was concerned with understanding how cells controlled their proliferation in plants and animals and provided unique insight to a wide variety of topics as diverse as agriculture, stomach cancer, and oceanic algal blooms. Prior to becoming and academic, Swanson worked several roles both in the industrial and government sectors in several countries before coming to the U.S.A. As a 40+ year veteran of Shotokan Karate, he is invited to teach karate all over the world and has authored several books and peer reviewed articles relating the subject of karate to principles of kinesiology, neuroscience, philosophy, pedagogy, and risk management.

Dr. Swanson holds a PhD from The Pennsylvania State University in Integrative Biosciences, a MSc(Tech) Hons and a BSc(Tech), both majoring in biology, and a Diploma of Management Studies from the University of Waikato, New Zealand. Most recently, Swanson graduated with a Certificate in Public Leadership from the American University.