A black and white portrait of Cora Marrett. She is smiling and wearing glasses.

Cora Bagley Marrett is the former deputy director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), a position she held from 2011 to 2014. She previously held the position of senior advisor (2009 -2011), except for six months when she served as the foundation’s acting director. She has also been a professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin, where she has held tenure since 1974; she took leave from the university in 2007 to join the NSF as assistant director for education and human resources.

From 1992 to 1996 Dr. Marrett was assistant director for social, behavioral, and economic sciences at the NSF. From 1996 to 1998 she served by appointment on the Board of Governors of the Argonne National Laboratory and was a member of a peer-review oversight group for the National Institutes of Health. From 1997 to 2001, she was provost, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, and a professor of sociology and Afro-American studies at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Throughout her career, Dr. Marrett has worked to expand opportunities for minorities. she is credited with having brought scholars of color into the field of sociology and with working actively to improve conditions of inequality revealed by sociological research.

Dr. Marrett earned a B.A. in sociology from Virginia Union University and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees, also in sociology, from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She received an honorary doctorate from Wake Forest University in 1996 and from Virginia Union University in 2011. She was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1996 and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1998. In 2008 the American Sociological Association recognized her many contributions with the Johnson-Cox-Frazier Award, and the Wisconsin Alumni Association honored her with its Distinguished Alumni Award in 2012. She is a member of the Board of Visitors of the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Letters and Science.

Links to Additional Information

Biography from the National Science Foundation

Speeches and presentations from the National Science Foundation

Award statement from the American Sociological Association