Frederic Bertley

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Frederic Bertley, Ph.D.
20150819 Boyds FI 0009.jpg
Frederic Bertley in front of the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial at the Franklin Institute, 2016
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Alma materMcGill University
Harvard Medical School
Scientific career
FieldsGeneral Science, Physiology, Molecular Biology, Immunology, and Education
WebsiteThe Franklin Institute

Frederic Bertley is a Canadian scientist, science educator and immunologist.

Bertley became the president and CEO of COSI Columbus in Columbus, Ohio, on Jan. 1, 2017.

In 2008, Bertley joined The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia as Vice President. From 2012 to 2016, he held the role of the Senior Vice President of Science and Education, overseeing a diverse portfolio of initiatives supporting innovation in STEM learning, as well as departments and programs that maintain the history and legacy of the Franklin Institute.[1]

With the support of the Franklin Institute, Bertley focused on improving the quality of science education worldwide and furthering science literacy for the non-scientist adult population. There, he oversaw departments such as gender and adult learning, community engagement, youth programs, professional development, and learning technologies—as well as the institute's prestigious Franklin Institute Awards Program, the oldest comprehensive science awards program in the nation; and is also the executive editor of the Journal of the Franklin Institute, the second oldest scientific journal in the United States. Bertley was the driving force behind the Franklin Institute's collaborative efforts to improve the global education landscape, primarily in Egypt through a USAID-funded program managed by World Learning, in partnership with the Franklin Institute, the 21st Century Partnership for STEM Education, and the Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM.[2][3]

In 2011, Bertley founded The Color of Science™, a program that honors the superb contributions of underrepresented groups, including women and persons of color each year. The program is designed to specifically promote and showcase diversity within the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) arenas locally and nationally. It includes a live monthly radio talk show hosted by Bertley, a traveling panel exhibit, and a two-day public event that brings esteemed STEM experts together to relate their stories, celebrate their achievements, and demonstrate to the next generation the variety of opportunities available in STEM-related fields.

Bertley's background in applied science and science education have led him to generate ways of distilling complex scientific principles into more easily digestible concepts for a wide and inclusive audience.[4] He appears frequently on local and national networks including NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, and FOX.[1]


As an undergraduate, Bertley studied physiology, mathematics, and the history of science. He obtained both his bachelor's degree in science (1994) and his Ph.D. in immunology (1999) from McGill University, and then completed his post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School (2003).[5] After graduating from McGill, he turned his attention to the lack of primary healthcare, preventative medicine, and basic vaccines in developing nations where he managed multinational teams in Haiti, Sudan, and Canadian Arctic. He continued this focus by joining a vaccine research group at Harvard Medical School focusing on the development of DNA vaccines for HIV/AIDS.[6][7]


After his postdoctoral fellowship, Bertley worked as a scientist at Millennium Pharmaceuticals before joining WilmerHale LLP as a technology specialist in 2004.[8] After spending two years with the firm, Bertley returned to Harvard Medical School as a science professor in 2008. That same year, he became the Vice President of the Center for Innovation in Science Learning at the Franklin Institute. Through his initiatives for diversity in science and health education and his development of a STEM curriculum for grades K-12, as well as undergraduate and graduate programs, Bertley earned his position as Senior Vice President of Science and Education at The Franklin Institute.[9]


Bertley is a research affiliate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and serves as the Goodwill Ambassador to Senegal for Science Education and Innovation. He has lectured on a variety of science and education topics at universities, colleges, conferences, cultural institutions, and government agencies throughout the world. He has delivered keynote addresses and has been an invited speaker at several distinguished institutions including the United Nations, the White House, US Department of Interior, National Academy of Sciences, Wharton School of Business, and the National Science Foundation[10] in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, and South America including Paraguay,[11] Europe, Japan, and Africa.

Community service[edit]

Bertley has volunteered with a number of organizations, foundations, and initiatives including the Harvard Medical School's Reflections in Action Program™, Wilmer Hale Summer Leadership Institute, Boston Public School, Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS), Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, MIT, New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE), the Eleventh Annual Program on Science, Engineering and Technology, Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI), Summer Science Mentorship Program in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Quebec Black Medical Association, the Bell Science Foundation in Quebec, Canada, HealthCare Volunteer in Khartoum, Sudan, USAID, and the Feeding Program Implementation in Cite Soleil, Haiti.

Boards and committees[edit]

Bertley serves on a number of boards and committees nationally including the INTEL Science and Engineering Grand Award Judge Panel, the US State Department Partner for STEM Education (multiple US Embassies), the iPRAXIS Committee, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Institutional Review Board, Philadelphia Biotechnology Life Science Congress, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Healthy NewsWorks Program, The Garvey Institute, and The Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement (PYPM).



  • Citation from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania House of Representatives for Impact on Science Education, 2016
  • Citation from the City Council of Philadelphia for Civic Leadership, 2016
  • EMMY™ For Change is in the Air: The Franklin Institute Awards: Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the National Academy of Television and Science, 2016[12]
  • Paul Robeson Award for Leadership, 2016
  • 40 Under 40 Philadelphia Business Journal, 2010[13]
  • Dell Inspire 100 World Changers, 2012[14]
  • Minority Business Leader of the Year Award Philadelphia Business Journal, 2014[15]
  • National Award for Education, National University of Paraguay, 2014
  • EMMY™ For The Franklin Institute Awards Program: Declaration of Progress: Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the National Academy of Television and Science, 2013[16]
  • EMMY™ For The Philadelphia Science Festival: Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the National Academy of Television and Science, 2013[16]
  • Harvard Medical School, Dean's Community Service Award, 2003
  • President's Award, Quebec Black Medical Association, 1999


  • Nifty Fifty, US Science and Engineering, 2015[17]
  • Inducted in the Library of Congress, History Makers, 2015[18]
  • Academic Task Force for the Governor of Massachusetts, Life Sciences Initiative, 2015
  • STEMX Invited Speaker, 2015
  • Goodwill Ambassador US, Senegal: Science, Education and Innovation, 2011
  • Recognition and Honor Dinner, Dr. Molefi Asante, Professor, Temple University, 2009
  • Advisory Board for the Governor of Massachusetts, Life Sciences Initiative, 2007
  • Award for Leadership: Summer Leadership Institute, WilmerHale LLP, Boston, MA, 2005
  • Canadian Government Honoree, 2001
  • Nominated Dean's Honor List, Ph.D. McGill University, 2000


  1. ^ a b Bertley, Frederic. "Senior Staff". Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  2. ^ "World Learning". Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  3. ^ Taylor, Dave (21 June 2016). "The Greater Philadelphia STEAM Initiative". The 21st Century Partnership for STEM Education. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  4. ^ Gamboa, Ana (September 25, 2014). "Take a walk on the wild side of Franklin Institute". AL DÍA News. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  5. ^ Institute, Franklin. "Senior Vice President of Science and Education". Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  6. ^ Reporter, McGill. "Four Burning Questions For Dr. Frederic Bertley, Vice-President of Philadelphia's Franklin Institute", McGill Reporter, Montreal, 16 February 2012. Retrieved on 4 August 2016.
  7. ^ Williams, Dawn P. (January 2002). Who's Who in Black Canada: Black Success and Black Excellence in Canada: A Contemporary Directory. Toronto. pp. 64–65. ISBN 9780973138412. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  8. ^ Williams, Dawn P. (2006). Who's who in Black Canada 2: Black Success and Black Excellence in Canada. Toronto. p. 62. ISBN 9780973138429. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  9. ^ Bertley, Frederic. "The HistoryMakers". Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  10. ^ ""STEM Summit" Brings Together Science and Math Faculty to Further Student Success". National Science Foundation. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  11. ^ "Experts from the prestigious Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, visiting the country to promote science education". US Embassy Asuncion, Paraguay. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  12. ^ "2016 MID-ATLANTIC EMMY® RECIPIENTS". The National Academy of Television, Arts & Sciences Mid-Atlantic Chapter. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  13. ^ "40 Under Forty, 20th Anniversary Edition: Frederic Bertley", Philadelphia Business Journal, Philadelphia, 7 May 2010.
  14. ^ Peterson, Lisa. "Kicking Off Inspired Gifting this Holiday Season, Dell Announces the #Inspire 100". Dell Inc. Archived from the original on 11 October 2016. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  15. ^ "Announcing the 2014 Minority Business Leader Awards". Philadelphia Business Journal. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  16. ^ a b "2013 MID-ATLANTIC EMMY® RECIPIENTS". The National Academy of Television, Arts & Sciences Mid-Atlantic Chapter. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  17. ^ "Nifty Fifty". Retrieved 2016-08-04.
  18. ^ Bertley, Frederic. "Collection honors history makers in Black community". The Philadelphia Tribune. Retrieved 8 August 2016.

External links[edit]