Dean Toste named next chair of the Chemistry Department

April 27, 2023
Dean Toste

The College is pleased to announce that Dean Toste will serve as the next chair of the Department of Chemistry in the College of Chemistry, effective July 1, 2023.

Dean has been a member of the chemistry faculty since 2002, when he was appointed as an assistant professor by then-chair Judith Klinman. As a world-renowned synthetic organic chemist, his current research is primarily focused on the development and study of catalysts, catalytic reactions, and methods to address challenges in chemical synthesis and energy. He is also Faculty Scientist in the Chemical Sciences Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and holds the Gerald K. Branch Distinguished Professorship in Chemistry. Dean is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences (2020) and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2018) and the Royal Society of Canada – Academy of Science (2015). Dean's service to the campus community has been admirable. He played an instrumental role as a member of UC Berkeley's Research Recovery Committee, which was established in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, leading campus recovery efforts in physical/chemical sciences research. We look forward to working closely with Dean in his new administrative position.  

We would also like to acknowledge outgoing chair Matt Francis and all that he has accomplished in the five years he served in that role. Matt was successful in hiring eight (and counting) new faculty members; he has worked effectively with college/department leadership towards developing a more sustainable financial model for departmental classroom instruction; he has contributed to the development of two new Chemistry Bridge courses (for non-majors and majors); and he was instrumental in implementing a new master's program in Molecular Science and Software Engineering (MSSE) in the College of Chemistry. In addition, Matt worked with graduate students to develop a Chemistry Climate Survey, highlighting the importance of diversifying chemistry faculty, improving graduate student mentorship, addressing student mental health challenges, and finding better work-life balance. Matt showed exemplary leadership navigating the unprecedented challenges posed by the pandemic, and everyone in the department and college benefitted from his rapid responses, thoughtful actions, and clear communication.

Please join me us in thanking Matt for his heroic service and welcoming Dean into his new role.