Dr. Carol O’Donnell, as Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center, is responsible for all operational activities and planning for the unit, including building awareness for K-12 science education reform among State and district leaders; conducting programs that support the professional growth of K-12 teachers and school leaders; and, overseeing all research and curricular resource development, philanthropic development, and administration. In this capacity, Carol also serves as the US representative on the Global Council of the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) Science Education Programme (SEP), the global network of the science academies. With nearly a decade of experience at the US Department of Education and 20+ years of science teaching in K-16 classrooms, Carol has expertise in education policy, professional development, cognition and student learning, curriculum development, and education research.
Carol earned her Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Pittsburgh, her Master of Science in Geosciences from Mississippi State University, and her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on science education from The George Washington University (GWU). Carol began her career as a K-8 teacher and is still in the classroom today, serving on the part-time faculty of GWU's Physics Department.