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Who We Are

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are private, nonprofit institutions that provide expert advice on some of the most pressing challenges facing the nation and the world. Our work helps shape sound policies, inform public opinion, and advance the pursuit of science, engineering, and medicine.


Founded by Congressional Charter

To meet the government's urgent need for an independent adviser on scientific matters, President Lincoln signed a congressional charter forming the National Academy of Sciences in 1863 to "investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject of science." As science began to play an ever-increasing role in national priorities and public life, the National Academy of Sciences eventually expanded to include the National Research Council in 1916, the National Academy of Engineering in 1964, and the National Academy of Medicine, which was established in 1970 as the Institute of Medicine.

Our Leadership

Ralph J. Cicerone C. D. (Dan) Mote Jr.    Victor J. Dzau, President of the National Academy of Medicine  

Ralph J. Cicerone
President of the National Academy of Sciences, and Chair, National Research Council

C. D. (Dan) Mote Jr.
President of the National Academy of Engineering, and Vice Chair, National Research Council

Victor J. Dzau
President of the National Academy of Medicine, and Vice Chair, National Research Council

More Than 300 Nobel Laureates

Our Academy members are among the world's most distinguished scientists, engineers, physicians, and researchers; more than 300 members are Nobel laureates. Members are elected in recognition of outstanding achievements, and membership is considered a high honor.

Our Funding

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine do not receive direct appropriations from the federal government, although many of our activities are mandated and funded by Congress and federal agencies. Our work extends well beyond fulfilling federal government requests, however. Foundations, state governments, the private sector, and philanthropy from individuals enable us to address critical issues on behalf of the nation.

What We Do