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Jo Maney

National Photonics Initiative Mourns the Passing of Congresswoman Louise Slaughter

(Washington, D.C.) - The National Photonics Initiative (NPI) is mourning the passing of Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) who was a longtime advocate for photonics research. As a scientist herself, Congresswoman Slaughter fully appreciated the impact of the science and research community on our nation’s ability to innovate and grow.

Congresswoman Slaughter was integral in establishing the American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics) and played an important role in ensuring collaboration between industry, academia and government. Edward White, Chair of the National Photonics Initiative Steering Committee, and Vice President Test, Assembly and Packaging for AIM Photonics, said Congresswoman Slaughter was tireless in her support of her district and the Optics and Photonics industry.

White said, “In her long tenure in Congress, Louise Slaughter had an impact on many initiatives. However, her impact on the optics and photonics industry has been notable. Whenever we met, she was always encouraging about the work we were doing. Her legacy will live on for many years.”

“Louise Slaughter was a champion for Rochester, New York, for optics and photonics and for science and engineering, among her many achievements,” said Elizabeth Rogan, The Optical Society (OSA) CEO.  “We’re saddened with the news of this loss, but grateful for all she accomplished for our community through her many years of effective and tireless leadership.” 

“Trained in both microbiology and public health, Louise was a progressive, active and vocal advocate for our field, most recently speaking out against the proposal to close Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics,” says SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs. “Most of all, it was a deep honor and pleasure to interact with Louise. She had a warm, vivacious personality, a sharp mind and a canny wit. On a personal level, for many people, she will be greatly missed.”

About the NPI: The National Photonics Initiative (NPI) is a collaborative alliance among industry, academia and government to raise awareness of photonics and the impact of photonics on our everyday lives; increase cooperation and coordination among US industry, government and academia to advance photonics-driven fields; and drive US funding and investment in areas of photonics critical to maintaining US economic competitiveness and national security. The initiative is being led by top scientific societies including the American Physical Society (APS), the IEEE Photonics Society, the Laser Institute of America (LIA), The Optical Society (OSA) and SPIE, the International Society for Optics and Photonics. For more information visit