Carolyn Ribes, Ph.D.

Prism Award

Carolyn Ribes, Ph.D., Prism Award, Headshot

Carolyn Ribes, Ph.D.

Dow Inc.

For being a role model for women in STEM fields; for demonstrating how leadership and volunteer service make an impact; and for creating programs that develop and retain women.

Carolyn Ribes, Ph.D., is the business analytical leader for industrial intermediates and infrastructure for Dow Inc. She began her career in the Dow Analytical Sciences Research and Development (R&D) group in Louisiana, where she developed and implemented online analyzers for process control and monitoring. A move to Freeport, Texas, as part of a dual-career change within Dow, expanded her responsibilities in process analysis to global projects and teams.

Dr. Ribes transferred to Terneuzen, Netherlands, in 2006 as the process analytical technology leader for Europe and was promoted to her current position in 2009. She provides functional and analytical leadership across global businesses to ensure cost-competitive analytical services for quality control and efficient process operations. She also endeavors to identify the most effective technology, promote standardization, and communicate the value of analytical services.

She has served in leadership positions on key committees in several industrial associations, including the American Chemical Society (ACS), the Women Chemists Committee of the ACS, and the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), where her insights, experiences, and contributions have influenced many fields, including chemical safety, regulatory compliance, sustainable development, quality, ethics, and career development. Her involvement in these organizations has inspired and engaged women chemists who have benefited from her initiatives, such as the Thriving in the Workplace program designed to communicate the challenges faced by early career and midcareer women and share best practices.

Dr. Ribes helped create the ACS Joint Subcommittee on Diversity (JSD), which included the committees representing women chemists, younger chemists, minority chemists, and chemists with disabilities, and served as first chair. The JSD unified programs at ACS national meetings that addressed diversity in all forms and was the first collaborative effort by these committees. The JSD was elevated to the board of directors level and became the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Respect Advisory Board on which she serves.

A longtime volunteer within the ACS, Dr. Ribes is well known as an impactful and inclusive leader who has developed programs and new organizational policies and practices that have influenced the career directions of young chemists and women chemists. Her contributions to the ACS were recognized with the Award for Volunteer Services.

When the global pandemic hit the Netherlands and remote work was required, Dr. Ribes created Coffee Breaks@Home virtual meetings, offering tips for working from home and interactive tools to engage participants. This became a weekly series throughout 2020 with attendance exceeding 2,800.

Dr. Ribes holds a B.S. in chemistry and a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from The State University of New York at Buffalo. She is a certified Six Sigma green belt. She serves on the ACS board of directors and is an ACS fellow. In 2011, the IUPAC named her one of the Distinguished Women in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering.

Dr. Ribes and her husband, Al, enjoy traveling and are active members of the Culinair Genootschap Dow and the Terneuzen International Club.

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