Caltech in Pasadena has announced the recent election of Dr. Prineha Narang, U.S. science envoy for the Department of State and Howard Reiss Chair in Physical Sciences at UCLA, and Amy Schulman, managing partner at venture capital firm Polaris Partners and co-founder of the Polaris Innovation Fund, as members of the institute’s Board.
Narang will sit as a Young Alumni Trustee on the Board. She is an expert on theoretical and computational quantum materials, nonequilibrium dynamics, and transport in quantum matter. She was previously an assistant professor of computational materials science at Harvard University, an environmental fellow at the Harvard University Center for the Environment (HUCE), and a research scholar in condensed matter theory in the Department of Physics at MIT.
Narang has received multiple recognitions and special designations, including a Guggenheim Fellowship in Physics, a Maria Goeppert Mayer Award and the Mildred Dresselhaus Prize from the American Physical Society, the Bessel Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, a Max Planck Sabbatical Award from the Max Planck Society, and the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) Young Scientist Prize in Computational Physics.
Dr. Narang embraces the idea of an academic family as her most notable achievement.
“I love helping my students and postdocs succeed, whether that be their first paper, their first conference talk, graduation, or amazing job offers that enable them to establish their own groups,” Narang said. “Among my first graduates and postdoctoral scholars, placing rock star women in academic roles is extra special. I keep in touch with former postdocs, discussing challenges they might face and celebrating their successes.”
Amy Schulman hails from Brooklyn, New York, and earned her BA in philosophy and English from Wesleyan University, where she was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, and her JD from Yale Law School. Along with her role as a managing partner at Polaris Partners, she is the executive chair of Lyndra Therapeutics, which she co-founded and served as the company’s first CEO.
Schulman is chair of the board of directors of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, and a member of the board of trustees at Mount Sinai Hospital, Singapore’s Health and Biomedical Sciences International Advisory Council, and the LifeSci NYC Advisory Council. She was a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School.
During her career, Schulman has learned to “listen to others — deeply and with a curious, engaged mind.”
“Few of us (and certainly not I) are as capable of multitasking as we like to think,” she reflects. “If I find I am bored or frustrated, usually there is something I should be doing differently, not the other person. I’ve learned that it’s usually much more important to learn what matters to others than to express my own point of view. But equally, and paradoxically, I often am reminded how important it is to be explicit about my thinking and approach rather than assume others understand or see me as I intend.”
Led by its chair David W. Thompson and vice chair Barbara M. Barrett, the Caltech Board of Trustees is currently composed of 54 trustees, 23 life members, and one honorary life member.
Under the provisions of the Caltech Bylaws, the Board directs all activities and affairs and exercises all corporate powers of the Institute.