Dr. Paul G. Risser is Chair of the University of Oklahoma Research Cabinet and also serves as the Executive Director of the Economic Development Generating Excellence (EDGE) Policy Board, a statewide research endowment. Previously he was Chancellor the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education, President of Oregon State University, President of Miami University in Ohio, Provost and Vice President for Research at the University of New Mexico and Chief of the Illinois Natural History Survey.
Risser has served as NSF Program Director of Ecosystem Studies and as president of three professional organizations: the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the Ecological Society of America and the Association of Southwestern Naturalists. He chaired the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology of the National Academy of Science and the Board of Trustees of the Institute of Ecosystem Studies in New York. Currently chairs the board of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and is President the international Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE),
Dr. Risser is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences with research on grassland and forest ecosystems, environmental planning and management, landscape ecology and global change.
Dr. Risser has a B.A. degree from Grinnell College and a Ph. D. degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He began his academic career at the University of Oklahoma in 1967, subsequently earning the rank of full professor and serving as the Director of the Oklahoma Biological Survey and Chairman of the Department of Botany and Microbiology.