Paul Anastas Is the First Teresa and H. John Heinz III Professor

Paul Anastas, the inaugural Teresa and H. John Heinz III Professor in the Practice of Chemistry for the Environment, is widely regarded as the "father of green chemistry."

Paul Anastas, the inaugural Teresa and H. John Heinz III Professor in the Practice of Chemistry for the Environment, is widely regarded as the “father of green chemistry.”

Green chemistry is the study of how to design chemical products and processes in ways that are sustainable and not harmful for humans and the environment. Anastas serves as the director of Yale’s Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering, which advances research on, education about and use of sustainable technologies.

Anastas focuses his research on the design of safer chemicals, bio-based polymers and new methodologies of chemical synthesis that are more efficient and less hazardous to the environment. Among other benefits, his research has created economic incentives to reduce industrial waste. He has published widely on topics of science through sustainability. His nine books include “Benign by Design,” “Designing Safer Polymers,” “Green Engineering” and his seminal work with co-author John Warner, “Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice.”

Trained as a synthetic organic chemist, Anastas is credited with establishing the field of “green chemistry” — a term he coined in 1991 — during his time working for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), where he was the chief of the Industrial Chemistry Branch and director of the U.S. Green Chemistry Program. From 1999 to 2004 he was the assistant director for the environment in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. He then served as director of the Green Chemistry Institute, headquartered at the American Chemical Society in Washington, D.C. While there, he established 24 green chemistry chapters in countries around the world, including China, Ethiopia, India, Japan and South Africa.

Anastas earned his B.S. from the University of Massachusetts at Boston and his M.A. and Ph.D. in chemistry from Brandeis University. He joined the Yale faculty in 2007, and holds appointments in the Department of Chemistry, the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and the Department of Chemical Engineering.

For his contributions to the field of green chemistry and green engineering, Anastas has earned numerous awards, including the EPA’s Bronze Medal, Silver Medal and its Joseph Seifter Award; Canada’s inaugural Green Chemistry Medal; the Greek Chemical Society Award; the Nolan Sommer Award; the Vice-President’s Hammer Award; the Scientific American 50 Award; and the H. John Heinz III Award.

The Teresa and H. John Heinz III Professorship was established by Teresa Heinz to honor and memorialize her late husband, U.S. Senator H. John Heinz III, who was known as a leader in environmental issues and the protection of the environment. Anastas will hold the new professorship through Dec. 31, 2011.

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