BackgroundDonald R. Lehman George Gamow Professor Emeritus of Theoretical Physics Executive Vice President Emeritus for Academic Affairs The George Washington University Washington, DC
Dr. Lehman retired from The George Washington University (GW) on 31 December 2010 after serving a total of 38½ continuous years as a faculty member and periodically in different administrative roles. During the 2010 fall term before his retirement, he served as a Senior Advisor on Science and Engineering to the President of GW.
Council Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Radiation Theory Section of the National Bureau of Standards from 1970-1972. In September 1972, Lehman returned to GW as an Assistant Professor of Physics and became full Professor in 1982. Lehman was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society in 1988. He received GW’s Columbian College Distinguished Faculty Award for Excellence in Scholarship in 1989. In 2002, he was further recognized for his work in theoretical nuclear physics by being named the George Gamow Professor of Theoretical Physics. Most recently, he received The George Washington University Award for outstanding contributions to the university (2006) and was selected as an Outstanding Referee for the journals of the American Physical Society (2008).
Dr. Lehman served 14 years as the University’s Chief Academic Officer (CAO) with administrative oversight of the schools and other academic divisions. In the CAO role, he was Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs from January 2003 to the end of June 2010 when he stepped down in anticipation of his retirement in December 2010. From August 1996 through December 2002, he was Vice President for Academic Affairs. As the CAO, he was responsible for strategic academic planning and educational policy in the areas of admissions, curriculum, research, the libraries, academic computing, distance learning, and faculty personnel administration. In this role, during academic year 2001-02, he led the University’s strategic planning effort focused on academic excellence.Lehman served as a member of the Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA) Board of Trustees from1993 through 2010 and as Vice Chair, Chair, and Past Chair during the period 2000 through 2005. He also served as a Senior Advisory Member of the Board of Directors of the Northern Virginia Technology Council from 2006 through 2010. He was a member of the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC) Board of Directors, having served as Chair for two years (2006-07), and he served as a member of the See Forever Foundation Board in conjunction with the Maya Angelou Public Charter School in the District of Columbia (2004-07).
A noted theoretical nuclear physicist, Lehman chaired the GW Department of Physics from 1987-1993, and served as the founding director of the department’s Center for Nuclear Studies from 1990-1993. Prior to his Academic Affairs appointments, he served for three years as Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies (1993-1996).
Lehman initially came to GW in 1965 as a graduate student in Physics, while simultaneously serving in the United States Air Force (USAF) as a program officer for high-energy particle physics at the Air Force of Scientific Research (AFOSR). In the fall of 1968, following his USAF assignment at AFOSR, he returned to civilian status and became a University Teaching Fellow and in January 1969 became a member of the GW faculty as an Instructor in Physics. He earned his B.A. in physics (1962) at Rutgers University and M.S. in space physics (1964) with distinction from the Air Force Institute of Technology. Lehman holds a Ph.D. in theoretical physics (1970) from GW, and conducted postdoctoral research as a National Academy of Sciences/National Research