Penn State scientist tapped for high post

WASHINGTON (AP) - August 14, 2009 Pell, 61, is an environmental scientist and was a professor for 35 years in Penn State's plant pathology department. The appointment announced Thursday by Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough takes effect in January 2010.

Clough says Pell will help raise the global profile of Smithsonian science and research.

Pell calls the Smithsonian the "nexus" between discovery and education. She will oversee the National Museum of Natural History, the National Air and Space Museum, the National Zoo and research centers in Maryland, Massachusetts, Virginia and Panama.

She succeeds David Evans who left the Smithsonian in 2007.

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