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About President Dooley

With more than 30 years of experience in public and private higher education, Dr. David M. Dooley became the University of Rhode Island's 11th president in July 2009. He previously had served as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Montana State, Bozeman, Montana.

Known for his collaborative leadership style that encourages entrepreneurial approaches to problem solving and program development, President Dooley fosters a community of discovery that involves all URI students, faculty and staff. In 2014, his interdisciplinary approach and strong support for interactive learning and research resulted in his nomination by U. S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Charles Johnson for a second two-year term on the Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council (HSAAC).

Dr. Dooley earned a B.A. in Chemistry from the University of California in San Diego and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Actively engaged in teaching and research throughout his academic career, in 2012 he was named a Fellow of the Council of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for his distinguished career of sustained discovery and innovation.

Earlier at Montana State, Dr. Dooley had been a central figure in attracting research dollars, helping to grow that university's budget to $100 million during his tenure. Montana State is now ranked among the top tier of research universities, as classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. URI, which is ranked in the second tier, aspires to that goal.

Dr. Dooley's wife, Lynn Baker-Dooley, is a Baptist minister. The couple has two adult children, Chris and Samantha, and a dog named Rhody.


07/2009 - present President, University of Rhode Island

06/2001-06/2009 Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana

06/1999-05/2001 Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana

07/1993-05/1999 Head, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana

07/1978-06/1993 Department of Chemistry, Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts
    7/1978-6/84 Assistant Professor
    7/1984-6/89 Associate Professor
    7/1989-6/93 Professor
    7/1986-6/89, 7/1991-6/93 Chairman

10/1986-06/1993 Graduate Faculty, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Massachusetts

06/1984-09/1986 Associate Faculty, Molecular and Cellular Biology Program, University of Massachusetts

01/1982-08/1982 Visiting Scholar, Stanford University

08/1981-12/1981 Visiting Scientist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


  • Appointed CEO co-chair for the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities' Board on Oceans, Atmosphere, and Climate (BOAC) 2015-16
  • Appointed to the Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council by U.S. Department of Homeland Security, May 2014, March 2012
  • NASULGC Council on Academic Affairs & Committee on Undergraduate Education Council for Undergraduate Research
  • 2010 Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors
  • 2010-2013 - State of Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, Board of Directors
  • 2005 Scientific Advisory Board, Viamet Pharemaceuticals
  • 2003-2008 Council, Society for Biological Inorganic Chemistry
  • 1999-2003 Member of Metallobiochemistry Study Section, NIH
  • 1998-1999 U.S. Organizing Committee, 10th International Symposium on Vitamin B6 and Carbonyl Catalysis and 4th Meeting on PQQ and Quinoproteins
  • 1998-2002 Editorial Advisory Board, Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry
  • 1997-2000 Metabolic Biochemistry Review Panel, NSF
  • 1993-1999 Head, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • 1983-1998 Ad-hoc reviewer for various NIH Study Sections

  • Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science - Distinguished career of sustained discovery and innovation in biological inorganic chemistry and in university research, technology and education administration, 2012
  • Awarded Honors Ceremony and Blanket, MSU Pow-Wow, 2006
  • Elected Chairman 2006 "Metals in Biology" Gordon Research Conference (Vice-Chairman in 2005)
  • Elected to the Council for Society of Biological Inorganic Chemistry 2003
  • Foundation for Inorganic Chemistry, Visiting Scholar, University of Sydney, 1996
  • Wiley Award for Meritorious Research 1996
  • Chairman 1995 Gordon Conference on "Quinones and Redox Active Amino Acid Cofactors" (Vice-Chairman, 1992)
  • Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation Award, Grant Program in Chemistry for Liberal Arts Colleges, 1989
  • A.M. (hon.), Amherst College, 1989
  • Elected to Sigma Xi, 1978

  • American Chemical Society, Inorganic Division and Biological Chemistry Division
  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Society of Biological Inorganic Chemistry
  • Information

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