Ahmed Zewail is the Linus Pauling Chair professor of chemistry and professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and also is director of the school’s Physical Biology Center for Ultrafast Science and Technology. In 2009, President Obama appointed him to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), and, in November of the same year, he became the first United States Science Envoy to the Middle East.
In 1999, Zewail was awarded the Nobel Prize for his pioneering developments in femtoscience. More recently, he and his group have developed the field of four-dimensional electron microscopy.
Recognition for Zewail’s work has included forty honorary degrees, Orders of State and Merit, commemorative postage stamps, the Albert Einstein World Award of Science, the Benjamin Franklin Medal, the Leonardo da Vinci Award, the King Faisal International Prize and the Priestley Medal.
He received his early education in Egypt and completed a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania and a postdoctoral (IBM) fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley. For decades, he has been involved in establishing a strategic base for education and economic development in Egypt and in the Arab world.