- Benjamin Peirce Professor of Technology and Public Policy and Professor of Physics, Emerita
- Professor of Physics
Note: Cherry Murray will be on sabbatical for the 2018/2019 academic year and will not be taking on any new graduate students, researchers, or postdocs during this time.
Cherry Murray is currently Benjamin Peirce Professor of Technology and Public Policy in the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Professor of Physics in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University. Her research accomplishments have been in the areas of light scattering, soft condensed matter physics, semiconductor optical phenomena, nanostructures, and controlled self-assembly. Her current interests are in public policy for science and technology and national security.
Dr. Cherry Murray was confirmed by the Senate December 10, 2015 and sworn in December 18, 2015 as the Director of the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, serving in that role until January 13, 2017. Dr. Murray oversaw $5.5 billion of the Department’s competitive scientific research in the areas of advanced scientific computing, basic energy sciences, biological and environmental sciences, fusion energy sciences, high energy physics, and nuclear physics. She had responsibility not only for supporting scientific research, but also for the development, construction, and operation of unique, open-access scientific user facilities as well as the management of 10 of the Department’s 17 National Laboratories. She served as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Energy from November 1, 2015 until her confirmation as Director of Science in December of that year.
Dr. Murray served as dean of Harvard University’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences from July 1, 2009 until December 31, 2014. Dr. Murray served as Principal Associate Director for Science and Technology at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory from 2007 to 2009 and as Deputy Director for Science and Technology from 2004 to 2007.
Dr. Murray held a number of positions at Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies, formerly AT&T Bell Laboratories and previously Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc. from 1978 to 2004. She began as a Member of Technical Staff within the Physical Research Laboratory and eventually finished her tenure as Senior Vice President for Physical Sciences and Wireless Research.
Dr. Murray was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1999, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001, and the National Academy of Engineering in 2002. She served as President of the American Physical Society in 2009. Dr. Murray was appointed to the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling in 2010. She was awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation by the White House in 2014 for contributions to the advancement of devices for telecommunications, the use of light for studying matter, and for leadership in the development of the STEM workforce in the United States. She served on the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board from 2013-2015, and on the Congressional Commission to Review the Effectiveness of the National Energy Laboratories from 2014-2015. Dr. Murray received a B.S. and a Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Positions & Employment
U.S. Department of Energy
- December 2015-January 2017: Director, Office of Science
- November 2015-December 2015: Senior Advisor to the Secretary
- July, 2009-December 2014: Dean of the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
- October, 2007-June 2009: Principal Associate Director for Science and Technology
- December, 2004-October, 2007: Deputy Director for Science and Technology
Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies
- October 2001-December, 2004: Physical Sciences and Wireless Research Senior Vice President.
- April 2000-October 2001: Physical Sciences Research Senior Vice President.
- 1997-March 2000: Director, Physical Research Laboratory.
- July 1993-June 1997: Head, Semiconductor Physics Research Department, Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies since 1996, formerly AT&T Bell Labs.
- October 1990-July 1993: Head, Condensed Matter Physics Research Department, AT&T Bell Labs.
- September 1987-September 1990: Head, Solid State and Low Temperature Physics Research Department, AT&T Bell Labs.
- July 1978-1987: Member of Technical Staff in the Physical Research Laboratory, AT&T Bell Labs.
- (1978-2004): Experimental research in surface, condensed matter and complex fluid physics, with emphasis on light scattering and imaging.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- 1974-1978: Research on ultrahigh vacuum and surface physics studying the surface phonons of porous vycor glass with Professor T. J. Greytak.
- 1973-1974: Research assistant. Research on low temperature physics and light scattering from elementary excitations in superfluid He4 with Professor T. J. Greytak.
- Summer 1973: Employed by Professor T. J. Greytak. Designed and constructed a double pass flat Fabry-Perot Spectrometer.
- 1972-1973: Undergraduate research on low temperature physics and superfluid helium under Professor T. J. Greytak.
- 1970-1971: Undergraduate research on InSb infrared bolometers and Josephson junctions under Professor R. Weiss.
Other Experience & Professional Membership
- 2014-2015: Member, Congressional Commission to Review the Effectiveness of the National Energy Laboratories
- 2013-2015: Member, U.S. Secretary of Energy Advisory Board
- 2010-2011: Member, National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling
- 2009: President, American Physical Society
- 2008-2011: Member, American Association for the Advancement of Science Board
- 2008-present: Chair, Division of Engineering and Physical Science, National Research Council
- 2006: Member, National Research Council Committee on Prospering in the Global Economy in the 21st Century (Rising Above the Gathering Storm)
- 2006: Fellow, California Council on Science and Technology
- 2004-2008: Member, Division of Engineering and Physical Science, National Research Council
- 2004: Chair, National Academies, Keck Futures Initiative, Conference on Nano-Bio Systems
- 2002-2005: National Academy of Sciences Council and Executive Board
- National Medal of Technology and Innovation, 2014
- Fellow, California Council on Science and Technology, 2006
- American Physical Society George E. Pake Prize, 2005
- Named by Discover Magazine as one of the top 50 women in science, 2002
- Elected to the National Academy of Engineering, 2002
- Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2001
- Elected to the National Academy of Sciences, 1999
- Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1998
- American Physical Society Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award, 1989
- Fellow, American Physical Society, 1987
- IBM Graduate Fellowship 1975-1977
“Display Apparatus with Improved Phosphor, and Method of Making Same”, Kochanski, G. Murray, C., Wiltzius, P. U.S. Patent No. 5,838,118 (1998).
"Near-Field Optical Apparatus With a Laser Having a Non-Uniform Emission Face", L. C. Hopkins, C. A. Murray, A. Partovi, D. R. Peale, H. J. Yeh, G. Zydzik, US Patent No. 5,625,617, (1997).