Joseph S Francisco received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1977 and his PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1983. He then trained as a Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge in England, and then returned to MIT as a Provost Postdoctoral Fellow. He was also a Visiting Associate in Planetary Science at the California Institute of Technology. He is the President's Distinguished Professor of Earth and Environmental Science and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania.
Professor Francisco is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. He currently serves as an Executive Editor of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, and also sits on the Governing Board of the National Research Council. He was President of the American Chemical Society in 2010.