A native of Georgia, G. Wayne Clough has served as the 12th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution since July 1, 2008. Clough earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from Georgia Tech in 1964 and 1965 and his doctorate in civil engineering in 1969 from the University of California at Berkeley.
Clough was an assistant and then associate professor at Duke University (1969-1974) and an associate and then full professor at Stanford University (1974-1982). He moved onto Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, serving from 1983-1990 as a professor of civil engineering, head of the civil engineering department and finally dean of the College of Engineering. From 1993-1994, Clough served as provost and vice president of academic affairs at the University of Washington.
In 1994, he became president of the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he served until 2008. During Clogh’s tenure, Georgia Tech’s academic reach stretched throughout the world, with research and education platforms in France, Ireland, Singapore and Shanghai; annual research expenditures increased from $212 million to $473 million; and enrollment increased from 13,000 to more than 18,000.
While improving Georgia Tech’s reputation for science and engineering, Clough also emphasized the importance of humanities. He established two endowed chairs in poetry; expanded the music department; and encouraged the development of interdisciplinary degrees that combine technology with the liberal arts. Clough also raised more than $1.6 billion in private gifts.
Clough is the only person appointed by the president to both the National Science Board (the governing body of the National Science Foundation) and the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. He is vice chair of the US Council on Competitiveness, a nonprofit organization focused on improving the competitive position of the United States in the global economy; co-chair of the council’s National Innovation Initiative; chair of the National Academies’ Committee on New Orleans Regional Hurricane Protection Projects, which advises the US Department of Defense; and a member of the board of directors for the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering.
Clough has published more than 130 papers and reports and has written six book chapters in geotechnical engineering. As secretary of the Smithsonian Clough receives an annual salary of $490,000.