Richard Meserve

Senior Of Counsel, Covington & Burling

Photo of Richard Meserve

Richard Meserve served as the ninth Carnegie President from April 2003 through August 2014.

He is Senior of Counsel with the law firm of Covington & Burling LLP, where he previously was a partner. He focuses on issues at the intersection of law, science, and public policy. From 1999 to 2003, Meserve was Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Early in his career, he served as Legal Counsel to President Carter’s science and technology adviser and was a Law Clerk to Judge Benjamin Kaplan of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and to Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the U.S. Supreme Court.

From 2004 to 2022, Meserve served as Chairman of the International Nuclear Safety Group, chartered by the International Atomic Energy Agency. He is a former chair of the Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) and served as a member of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future; the National Commission on Energy Policy; the NASEM Committee on Science, Technology, and Law (Co-chair); the NASEM Committee on Science, Engineering, Medicine and Public Policy; and the Visiting Committee to the MIT Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering. He also served on numerous other legal and scientific committees, including many chartered by NASEM.

In addition to being on the board of the EFI Foundation, Meserve is on the boards of the Health Effects Institute, the Kavli Foundation, and TAE Technology, Inc. He was a Trustee of CDRF Global, the Foundation for Nuclear Studies, and the Universities Research Association, Inc. He served on the Council and Trust of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and on the Council of the National Academy of Engineering. He joined the Harvard University Board of Overseers in 2007 and served as that group’s President from 2012 to 2013. His service to Harvard included chairing the Overseers’ Standing Committee on Natural and Applied sciences and the Visiting Committee to the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, as well as service on the Harvard governing boards’ Joint Committee on Inspection. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, and the Phi Beta Kappa Society. He is also a Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Meserve earned a B.A. from Tufts University; a J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he was editor of the Harvard Law Review; and a Ph.D. in applied physics from Stanford University. He has been honored with numerous awards over the years, including the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, conferred by the Emperor of Japan.

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