Wonderful Women Wednesday: Roberta W. Rubinoff

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.

Roberta Wolff Rubinoff was a biologist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama between 1965 and 1979. In 1980, she was appointed the assistant director of the Office of Fellowships and Grants in Washington, D.C., and from 1986 to 2001, she served in the top role as director of the office.

People sit at desks in a lab area with jars of specimens on shelves. Men and women are pictured.

In Panama, Rubinoff served as the marine sciences coordinator and conducted research on the evolution and behavior of transisthmian species. 

Rubinoff earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Queens College in 1959 and her master’s degree in environmental sciences from Duke University.  

Photograph of two men and one woman standing in a group. The caption reads: Roberta W. Rubinoff was

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