Alan Leshner was Chief Executive Officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Executive Publisher of the journal Science from 2001 through 2015.
Before coming to AAAS, Leshner was Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from 1994-2001. Before becoming Director of NIDA, Leshner had been the Deputy Director and Acting Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). He went to NIMH from the National Science Foundation (NSF), where he held a variety of senior positions, focusing on basic research in the biological, behavioral and social sciences, science policy and science education.
Leshner went to NSF after 10 years at Bucknell University, where he was Professor of Psychology. He has also held long-term appointments at the Postgraduate Medical School in Budapest, Hungary; at the Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center; and as a Fulbright Scholar at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.
Leshner received an undergraduate degree in psychology from Franklin and Marshall College, and MS and PhD degrees in physiological psychology from Rutgers University. He also has been awarded six honorary Doctor of Science degrees. Leshner is an elected fellow of AAAS, the National Academy of Public Administration, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and many other professional societies. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science and served on its governing Council. He is a member of the National Science Board, first appointed by President Bush and reappointed by President Obama.
Dr. Leshner joined the SSP Board of Trustees in 2009.