Dr. James L. Powell was born in Berea, Kentucky and
graduated from Berea College with a degree in Geology.
He holds a Ph.D. in Geochemistry from the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology and several honorary degrees,
including Doctor of Science degrees from Berea College
and from Oberlin College.
He taught Geology at Oberlin College for over 20 years.
He served as Acting President of Oberlin, President of
Franklin and Marshall College, President of Reed College,
President of the Franklin Institute Science Museum in
Philadelphia, and President and Director of the Los
Angeles County Museum of Natural History.
Powell currently serves as Executive Director of the
National Physical Science Consortium.
President Reagan and
later, President George H. W. Bush, both appointed Powell
to the National Science Board, where he served for 12
Asteroid 1987 SH7 is named for him.
He has authored six books.
He is married to
Joan Hartmann and has three children, three
grandchildren, five horses, two dogs, three cats, and a