Before retiring in November, 2018, Jay Labov served as a member of the staff of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine for the past 23 years, most recently serving as Senior Advisor for Education and Communication since 2008. He directed or contributed to some 30 National Academies reports focusing on undergraduate education, teacher education, advanced study for high school students, K-8 education, and international education. He served as Director of the National Academies’ Teacher Advisory Council, and was Deputy Director for the Academy's Center for Education. He directed a committee of the NAS and the Institute of Medicine (now the Academy of Medicine) that authored Science, Evolution, and Creationism and oversaw the National Academy of Sciences' efforts to confront challenges to teaching evolution in the nation’s public schools. He coordinated efforts at the Academies to work with professional societies on education issues. He also oversaw work on improving education in the life sciences under the aegis of the Academy’s Board on Life Sciences.
Dr. Labov is an organismal biologist by training. Prior to accepting his position at the National Academies in 1997, he spent 18 years on the biology faculty at Colby College (Maine). He is a Kellogg National Fellow, a Fellow in Education of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow, and a 2013 recipient of the "Friend of Darwin" award from the National Center for Science Education. In 2013 he was elected to a three year term beginning in 2014 in which he served as chair-elect for 2014, chair for 2015 and past chair for 2016 of the Education Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He was subsequently elected to a three year term to represent the Education Section on the AAAS Council beginning in 2017 and to a two-year term on the Council’s Executive Committee beginning in 2018. In 2014 he was named a Lifetime Honorary Member by the National Association of Biology Teachers, that organization’s highest award and recognition. He received an Academies Staff Award for Lifetime Achievement in December, 2014 and was named by the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology as the John A. Moore Lecturer for 2016. He also received the Distinguished Service to Science Education Award from the National Science Teachers Association in April, 2016. In May 2018 he received the Leadership in Science and Engineering Award from the Washington (DC) Academy of Sciences. In June 2018 he received an award from President Samuel Stanley Jr., President of Stony Brook University, for Advancing Civic Engagement and Socially Beneficial Science and Engineering. In 2019 he was appointed as Chair of the education committee of the International Society for Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health and as a Fulbright Specialist by the U.S. Department of State.