Dr. Rita Colwell is a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland at College Park and Founder of CosmosID, Inc. Her interests are focused on global infectious diseases, water, and health. She has authored or co-authored 20 books and more than 800 scientific publications. Dr. Colwell served on the National Science Board and as the 11th Director of the National Science Foundation. Dr. Colwell is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Royal Society of Canada, Royal Irish Academy, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and American Philosophical Society. She has been awarded 63 honorary degrees and is the recipient of the US National Medal of Science, Japan Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, Stockholm Water Prize, Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, and Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize of Singapore.