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Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) announced today that Dr Thomas Zacharia, a prominent scientist and senior administrator at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has been appointed as Executive Vice President of Research and Development at QF. Dr Zacharia will assume his new position on September 1, 2012, and will contribute to QF’s overall mission by advancing and promoting the organisation’s research initiatives, a key aspect of Qatar’s projected transformation to a knowledge-based economy.

Mr Faisal Al-Suwaidi, QF President of Research and Development, welcomed Dr Zacharia and highlighted the wealth of experience that he brings to the organisation.

“We are genuinely excited to have a person of Thomas Zacharia’s talent and experience join us, as we position ourselves to make the most of an historic investment in transformational scientific research,” said Mr Al-Suwaidi. “As a world-class scientist who has already made a mark in the research community, Dr Zacharia brings tremendous experience in managing and operating a major national research enterprise, developing multidisciplinary research and development programmes at the national and international scale, and the broad international research network.”

Dr Zacharia’s selection was made following an international search. He is the recipient of several scientific and technical awards, having served on a number of national and international scientific advisory committees. He is also a fellow of the American Welding Society.

“I am deeply honoured to be chosen as the Executive Vice President of Research and Development at QF,” Dr Zacharia said. “This is a unique opportunity to make a significant contribution at a nation scale by helping create a world-class research enterprise that is focused and relevant to the needs of the country.”

In 1987 Zacharia received a PhD in Engineering from Clarkson University in the field of computational materials science. He is currently Deputy Laboratory Director and Chief Research Officer of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, with annual expenditures of $1.6 billion in materials and physical sciences, energy and engineering sciences, computing and computational sciences, life and environmental sciences, neutron sciences, and national security. Prior to that, Dr Zacharia served as Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s associate laboratory director for computing and computational sciences. In this capacity, he built a world-leading computing organisation with broad-based partnerships both nationally and internationally.

Dr. Zacharia