Wonderful Women Wednesday: Madeleine Jacobs

Each week, the Archives features a woman who has been a groundbreaker at the Smithsonian, past or present, in a series titled Wonderful Women Wednesday.

Madeleine Jacobs was Smithsonian’s Chief Science Writer between 1979 and 1987 and Director of the Office of Public Affairs between 1987 and 1993. In 1993, Jacobs won the Secretary’s Gold Medal for Exceptional Service, the highest honor given to Smithsonian staff, for her work developing outreach programs that reached underrepresented communities. 

After her time with the Smithsonian, Jacobs became the editor-in-chief of the Chemical and Engineering News, published by the American Chemical Society. Between 2005 and 2015, Jacobs served as the director and chief executive officer of the American Chemical Society. 

Jacobs earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1968 and was presented with an honorary Doctor of Science in 2003 from The George Washington University. 

Jacobs sits across from a woman at a desk and takes notes.

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