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Mark Mascal
University of California Davis

Mark Mascal received his PhD in synthetic organic chemistry from the University of London, and has worked in the labs of two Nobel laureates. He started his academic career in the United Kingdom, moving after ten years to the US to take up a visiting professorship of chemistry at UCLA in 2000. He was appointed Assistant Professor of Chemistry at UC Davis in 2003, advancing to Associate Professor in 2007 and Professor in 2011. He was also appointed the 2012 Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Alternative Energy Technology at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. A major thrust of his research program is in the area of sustainable chemistry, specifically the upcycling of waste biomass into platform molecules that can be used to access a range of biofuels, renewable materials, and replacements for petrochemicals. He also has interests in conducting polymers, medicinal chemistry, computational modeling, and fundamental aspects of molecular structure. He is involved in startup companies spun off from intellectual property that originated in his lab in the areas of sustainable production of recyclable plastics, cardioprotective supplements, and therapies to combat refractory epilepsy. One of the companies that licenses technology from his lab, Origin Materials, has just become the first publicly traded carbon negative materials company, with a valuation of $1.8B.

Department of State Profile

Undersecretary for Management
Office of Management Strategy and Solutions

Mark Mascal serves as policy advisor in the Greening Diplomacy Initiative (GDI) within the Office of Management Strategy and Solutions. The GDI is driven by the concept of eco-diplomacy, which leverages the Department's facilities and operations as a strategic platform to advance U.S. interests in sustainability and climate resilience abroad. In a joint project with the Bureau of Administration Office of Logistics Management, Mark is advising the GDI on matters of overseas fleet electrification (replacing gas automobiles with zero-emissions vehicles and developing EV charging infrastructure), renewable electricity procurement for embassy buildings, and the integration of material on climate literacy into Foreign Services Institute training courses.