Ellen Williams has been nominated by President Obama to the key administration post of Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, Department of Energy. ARPA-E was created to nurture high risk high payoff research that has the potential to make a large impact for the nation especially in the area of technology, jobs, energy, and sustainability.
The White House press release states that "Dr. Ellen D. Williams is the Chief Scientist for BP, a position she has held since 2010. She is currently on a leave of absence from the University of Maryland where she has served as a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Physics and the Institute for Physical Science and Technology since 2000. Dr. Williams has served as a Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Maryland since 1991. She founded the University of Maryland Materials Research Science and Engineering Center and served as its Director from 1996 through 2009. Dr. Williams received a B.S. in Chemistry from Michigan State University and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology.”
Ellen will still be a member of the Department and IPST, on leave from the University.