CORVALLIS, Ore. – Kendra Sharp, who founded a humanitarian engineering program at Oregon State University and holds leadership positions at the university focused on global engagement and faculty development, has been selected to lead the National Science Foundation’s Office of International Science and Engineering.

“I have long been driven to address challenges such as access to clean water or clean energy, climate change, food security and more through my own international research, education and engagement efforts,” Sharp said. “Leading an internationally focused organization within NSF offers an opportunity to continue my service on a truly national and international scale.”

Sharp’s appointment with NSF starts Feb. 8, 2021. She will retain her affiliation with OSU and expects to return full time to the university in several years upon completing her NSF appointment.

She has been a faculty member in the College of Engineering since 2010 and was the Richard and Gretchen Evans Professor of Humanitarian Engineering from 2015 to 2020. Her research and teaching interests include engineering for global development, applications of technology in humanitarian engineering, and sustainable water and energy systems.

Since 2018, Sharp has provided leadership in OSU’s initiatives related to internationalization and global engagement as the university’s senior advisor for global affairs. She was recently named associate vice provost for faculty development.

“This is a tremendous honor for Kendra and recognition of her breadth of work globally and within Oregon State University,” said Edward Feser, OSU’s provost and executive vice president. “Her experience will help guide the work of NSF, federal agencies and universities in making impact nationally and internationally.”

At NSF, Sharp will work to increase engagement among U.S. scientists in global research that addresses pressing challenges; increase access to training and other opportunities in science diplomacy for U.S.-based students and faculty; develop and support robust collaborations among international universities; and strengthen collaborations with other federal agencies.

Sharp has extensive international research and teaching experience, including as a visiting researcher at the Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands; a Visiting Erskine Fellow at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand; and as part of the organizing and instructional teams at multi-week international development design summits in India, Pakistan and Thailand. Sharp also led OSU's participation in the United States Agency for International Development-funded Partner Center of Advanced Studies in Energy with Arizona State University and two universities in Pakistan.

General OSU

About Oregon State University: As one of only three land, sea, space and sun grant universities in the nation, Oregon State serves Oregon and the world by working on today’s most pressing issues. Our more than 36,000 students come from across the globe, and our programs operate in every Oregon county. Oregon State receives more research funding than all of the state’s comprehensive public universities combined. At our campuses in Corvallis and Bend, marine research center in Newport, OSU Portland Center and award-winning Ecampus, we excel at shaping today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders.

Story By: 

Sean Nealon, 541-737-0787, [email protected]


Kendra Sharp, 541-737-5246, [email protected]


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