A retired director of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will be the newest regent for the Washington State University system.
The university and Gov. Jay Inslees office announced Lura Powells appointment to the WSU Board of Regents this morning. She will take the seat being vacated by the departure of Fran Forgette, a Tri-Cities attorney.
"Lura has played a key role in shaping the development and expansion of life sciences research in our state," Inslee said in a statement. "She has a deep passion for the opportunities afforded by a strong research enterprise and higher education system."
Powell retired from the national lab in 2002 after three years at its helm. She previously worked in the U.S. Department of Commerce where she started a biotechnology division.
Along with participating in the last two chancellor searches for the Tri-Cities campus, including the one that brought Chancellor H. Keith Moo-Young last summer, Powell also was part of the group that developed the plan for converting the campus to a full four-year program.
Powell recently resigned as chairwoman of the board of the Washington State Life Sciences Discovery Fund, a multimillion dollar program that finances life sciences research. She also sat on the commission that redrew the 10th congressional districts boundaries in 2011.