Chemist Named Jefferson Science Fellow

Mark Mascal, professor of chemistry in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science, will spend a year in Washington, D.C., as a Jefferson Science Fellow advising the U.S. Department of State on matters of sustainability.

Mark Mascal headshot
Mark Mascal

The prestigious Jefferson Science Fellows Program selects up to 15 scientists and engineers each year to advise the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) on programs and policies. 

Mascal’s fellowship is with the State Department’s Office of Management Strategy and Solutions. The office will tap his expertise in sustainable chemistry for its Greening Diplomacy Initiative. According to the State Department, the initiative “leverages the department’s facilities and operations as a strategic platform to advance the conservation of natural resources and highlight U.S. environmental technological and policy successes.”

Mascal’s research centers on renewable energy and sustainable materials as well as medicinal chemistry and organic superconductors. He has filed 15 patents for technologies such as converting plant biomass into plastics and fuels. “My motivation is the global imperative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Mascal said. “I’m excited to contribute from the skills I’ve acquired in sustainability to the Department of State.”

Mascal earned a doctorate in chemistry from Imperial College in London and did postdoctoral research with Nobel Laureate Jean-Marie Lehn at the University of Strasbourg in France. He joined UC Davis as an assistant professor of chemistry in 2003 and was promoted to full professor in 2011. Mascal was the 2012 Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Alternative Energy Technology at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden.

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Becky Oskin is a content strategist and writer in the College of Letters and Science, and can be reached by phone, 530-754-2222, or email,

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