Gerson Sher is a retired foundation executive and civil servant who has devoted his career to the intersection of scientific cooperation, international affairs and global security. In the public sector, he was Program Coordinator for U.S.-Soviet and East European Programs at the National Science Foundation, where he served for 20 years and contributed to a variety of other programs, including a Presidential initiative with India and policy work in the White House Science Office on scientific communication and national security. He has also worked with several nonprofit organizations, including the National Academy of Sciences, George Soros’s International Science Foundation (as chief operating officer) and the U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation (now CRDF Global), of which he was the founding president. As President and Executive Vice President of the United States Industry Coalition, a nonprofit association that worked with the United States Department of Energy to engage former Soviet weapons scientists through technology commercialization, he engaged extensively with private U.S. high-tech companies in unique public-private partnerships to promote global security, peace and prosperity.
Sher received a B.A. (Summa Cum Laude) in Russian studies from Yale University in 1969 and a Ph.D. in politics from Princeton University in 1975. His doctoral dissertation, “Praxis: Marxist Criticism and Dissent in Socialist Yugoslavia,” was published by Indiana University Press in in 1977. He is the author and translator (from Serbo-Croatian) of numerous books and articles. In June 2008, Sher received an honorary Ph.D. from the Moscow Physical-Technical Institute (now the Russian Federal Nuclear University), Russia’s premier university for educating nuclear scientists and engineers. The degree was awarded for the career work he has done to promote science and technology cooperation between the United States and Russia.