Cynthia Friend

Director's page and

Director Rowland Institute at Harvard
Harvard University

100 Edwin H. Land Blvd.

Cambridge, MA 02142

Tel: 617-497-4613
Fax: 617-497-4627

Website: Director's page and

 Cynthia Friend is a physical chemist whose current research is focused on developing solutions to important problems in energy usage and environmental chemistry.  The two major facets of her work are (1) design and development of new processes for sustainable and efficient chemical synthesis using alloy catalysts as a means of reducing dependence on fossil fuel resources; and, (2) investigation of new semiconductor materials for light-induced reactions, including water splitting and degradation of organic pollutants.  Her complete publication record is available at

Friend joined the faculty of Harvard University in 1982 as a member of the Chemistry department after completing postdoctoral research at Stanford University and earning her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. At Harvard, Friend was promoted as the first female Full Professor of Chemistry at Harvard in 1989.  She now holds the T.W. Richards Professorship in Chemistry (1998-present) and is a Professor of Materials Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS).  She has previously held several leadership positions at Harvard, including Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (2002-05), Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology (2004-07), and Associate Director of the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (2002-2011), and Radcliffe Trustee (1990-93).   Friend also served as Associate Director of the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, at Stanford University (2011-2012) while on leave from Harvard.