Carnegie’s Edgar Virgüez named Duke University trustee

Washington, DC— Carnegie postdoctoral researcher Edgar Virgüez was named Friday one of four new trustees of Duke University. He will serve a three-year term, the first year as an observer.

Virgüez joined the Carnegie Institution for Science’s Department of Global Ecology in February after completing his Ph.D. at Duke. He works with Carnegie’s Ken Caldeira on modeling climate and energy solutions.

“I am flattered to have been selected for this honor and eager to bring my experiences at Carnegie to to bear in advancing important priorities across both institutions and the entire scientific enterprise,” Virgüez said. "The vibrant multidisciplinary environment that I have experienced here has empowered me to challenge conventional ideas and pursue paradigm-shifting scientific research. These experiences will inform my work on the Duke board of trustees, as well as other at outreach and engagement initiatives.”

He recently wrote an essay in Science about his efforts to open doors for others while completing his graduate work, including creating an undergraduate Spanish class that connected Duke students with marginalized communities in Colombia and advancing opportunities for Colombian graduate students to gain funding to at Duke.

“As a rising scholar and emerging higher education leader, my experiences at Carnegie this year—and the guidance offered by Ken—have expanded my scientific vision and shown me how to contribute to comprehensively addressing the most-pressing societal issues facing humanity today,” Virgüez added. “I will bring this knowledge to my work as a Duke trustee.”

Added Anna Michalak, Director of Carnegie’s Department of Global Ecology: “Congratulations to Edgar on this incredible achievement at such an early stage in his scientific career! His well-deserved recognition highlights the incredible caliber of Carnegie’s junior researchers.”

Virgüez’s was put forward by Duke’s Graduate and Professional Young Trustee Nominating Committee. During his graduate student career, he was honored with the American Association of Colleges and Universities’ K. Patricia Cross award, as well as the Duke Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Forever Duke Student Leadership Award. He also served on several of the committees organized by the trustees, as well as the university’s Racial Equity Advisory Council.

He completed his master’s degree in environmental engineering and bachelor’s degree in environmental and chemical engineering from Universidad de los Andes.