Omar M. Yaghi is the James and Neeltje Tretter Chair Professor of Chemistry at University of California, Berkeley. He has pioneered several extensive classes of new materials and a new branch of chemistry, reticular chemistry. This chemistry has yielded materials with applications in hydrogen storage, carbon capture and harvesting water from desert air. Professor Yaghi called for “personalized water” in which he laid out a vision of having water off grid in the future, where people have a device at home running on ambient solar energy, delivering the water that satisfies the needs of a household. He believes at a time when fresh water resources are becoming increasingly scarce, it is important to establish water as a basic human right that must be guaranteed to every person on earth.
Professor Yaghi has published over 300 scientific articles and has received over 160,000 citations for which he is listed among the very top most cited chemists. He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, and has been honored with many awards for his scientific accomplishments, including King Faisal International Prize in Science (2015), Mustafa Prize in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (2015), TÜBA Academy Prize in Basic and Engineering Sciences (2016), the Medal of Excellence of the First Order bestowed by the King of Jordan His Majesty King Abdullah II (2017), Albert Einstein World Award of Science (2017), BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Basic Sciences (2017), Kuwait Prize in Basic Sciences (2017), Wolf Prize in Chemistry (2018), Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (2018), ENI Award for Excellence in Energy (2018), the Mohammed bin Rashid Medal of Science of United Arab Emirates (2019), Gregori Aminoff Prize by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded by the King of Sweden His Majesty Carl XVI Gustaf (2019), August-Wilhelm-von-Hofmann-Denkmünze of the German Chemical Society (2020), and Royal Society of Chemistry Sustainable Water Award, United Kingdom (2020).