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A portrait of Kellina Craig-Henderson

Credit: National Science Foundation

The U.S. National Science Foundation has selected Kellina Craig-Henderson to serve as Assistant Director of its Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate. She had been serving as acting assistant director since January.

Craig-Henderson is a former professor of psychology and previously served in other leadership roles at NSF. She was the deputy assistant director for the SBE Directorate and served as the deputy division director of the directorate’s Social and Economic Sciences Division before transitioning into the role of director for NSF’s Tokyo Regional Office.

Craig-Henderson is passionate about broadening the participation of underrepresented groups and has been involved in several national and international activities that share this focus. She has promoted the establishment of new social science funding mechanisms that support evidence-based research on the science of broadening participation. Her efforts have resulted in federal support for research examining issues related to gender parity in STEM and minority participation in work settings.

Craig-Henderson has published her research in peer-reviewed journals as well as two books on interracial relationships. Her research program focuses on studies of groups, cross-cultural, gender and race issues, as well as aggression and expatriation processes. Her work has been supported by a variety of public and private sources including NSF, the Ford Foundation, and the American Psychological Association, and she has presented her research findings at regional, national, and international research and pedagogical meetings.

“For more than 16 years, Kellina Craig-Henderson’s intellect and expertise have helped guide our Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate, providing steady leadership in several important roles,” said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan. “I am delighted to have someone with her track record of excellence taking on this role.”

Craig-Henderson served on the faculty in the Department of Psychology and in the Afro-American Studies and Research Program at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She also served in the Psychology Department at California State University, Long Beach.

“The social, behavioral and economic sciences are especially well poised to tackle many of today’s most pressing issues, and I am excited about leading the National Science Foundation’s efforts to do so,” said Craig-Henderson.

 Craig-Henderson received her bachelor’s from Wesleyan University in Connecticut and her master’s in social science from the University of Chicago. She also earned a master’s and a doctorate in psychology from Tulane University.



About the National Science Foundation

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments, and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a Fiscal Year 2021 budget of $8.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities, and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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