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Chancellor is Panelist at Governor's Conference

UC Riverside Chancellor to Join Gov. Schwarzenegger, Maria Shriver for Governor’s Conference in Long Beach

Astrophysicist France Córdova Will Serve on a Panel About Remarkable Women

(December 6, 2004)

France CordovaEnlarge

France Cordova

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (Dec. 6, 2004) -- UC Riverside Chancellor France Córdova is one of four high-powered women on a panel called, “Activism Made Accessible: How'd She Do That?" at the Governor's Conference on Women and Families at the Long Beach Convention Center Tuesday, Dec. 7.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, are hosting the conference for an expected 10,000 California women. The day-long event will include panel discussions on a variety of subjects relevant to women and families. The conference theme is “Women As the Architects of Change — Within Ourselves, At Home, In the Workplace, In Our Communities and Around the World.”

“I expect to talk about my path to becoming a scientist,” said Córdova, an astrophysicist who succeeded in a male domain. “I’m hoping, in addition, that I can bring to the fore issues such as the need to prepare young people for careers in the sciences, especially women and minorities. The U.S. may lose its global leadership role if we don't encourage our youth to pursue careers in science and technology.”

She added that UC Riverside is playing an important role in enhancing teacher quality in the Inland Empire, and helping to create a knowledge-based econony for the region.

Córdova’s panel, which begins at 10:45 a.m., includes Peggy Merical, Program Director, Quinn Cottages; Jane Semel, Founder & Chairman, ijane, inc.; and Wendy Hamilton, National President, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). The discussion leader is Susan Estrich, a law professor from the University of Southern California.

Keynote speakers at the conference are Queen Noor of Jordan and Linda Ellerbee, an award-winning journalist and best-selling author.

This year’s panels include close to one hundred diverse and prominent national leaders in their fields, including Gayle King, the editor of O Magazine; Jamie Lee Curtis, acclaimed actress and author; and Meg Whitman, President and CEO of eBay. Oprah Winfrey, talk show host and magazine maven, is scheduled to be a closing speaker. The day will end with the first “Remarkable Woman” concert featuring singer Sheryl Crow.

Córdova has served as UC Riverside Chancellor since July, 2002. She was a professor of physics and vice chancellor for research at UC Santa Barbara and from 1993 to 1996 served as the chief scientist at NASA, the primary scientific advisor to the NASA administrator. She won NASA’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal. Córdova headed the department of astronomy and astrophysics at Pennsylvania State University from 1989 to 1993 and before that served as deputy group leader of the Space Astronomy and Astrophysics Group at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The oldest of 12 children, she received her bachelor’s degree in English from Stanford University and her Ph.D. in Physics from the California Institute of Technology. She has served on the President's National Medal of Science Committee, and the Fundamental Science Committee of the National Science and Technology Council. She is currently a member of: the National Academy of Sciences' Strategic Communications and National Security Committee; and the Policy and Global Affairs Committee; the University of California President's Council on National Laboratories; and serves on the Board of Directors for Belo Corporation and Edison International. She is married and has two children.

To check ticket availability for the Governor’s Conference:


The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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