Lawson holds a doctorate in quantitative biology from the University of Texas Arlington and a bachelor of arts degree in biology from the University of Pennsylvania.
Lawson’s salary will be $172,500 a year.
The selection process began in December.
“Alice (Pippin) did an incredible job of leading the search for our new director,” Batt said. “And Alan also needs to be recognized for his efforts in holding things together as interim director during the search process.”