Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Biden nominates Indian-American Dr Arati Prabhakar as top science advisor to lead the NIST

Prabhakar has been unanimously confirmed by the Senate before, to lead the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and was the first woman to hold that role. 

US President Joe Biden on Tuesday, June 21, nominated Indian-American scientist Dr Arati Prabhakar as Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), a report  in the  Hindustan Times, says

If confirmed by the Senate, Dr Prabhakar would make history as the first woman, immigrant, or person of colour to head OSTP.

“Dr Prabhakar is a brilliant and highly-respected engineer and applied physicist and will lead the Office of Science and Technology Policy to leverage science, technology, and innovation to expand our possibilities, solve our toughest challenges, and make the impossible possible,” said Biden.

“I share Dr Prabhakar’s belief that America has the most powerful innovation machine the world has ever seen. As the Senate considers her nomination, I am grateful that Dr Alondra Nelson will continue to lead OSTP and Dr. Francis Collins will continue to serve as my acting Science Advisor,” he said.

Once confirmed she would also be Assistant to the President for Science and Technology. In this capacity, Dr Prabhakar will be the President’s Chief Advisor for Science and Technology, a co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and a member of the President’s Cabinet.

Further if confirmed to lead OSTP, Prabhakar would become the third Asian American, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander to serve in President Biden’s Cabinet, joining Vice President Kamala Harris and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai.

“Today’s nomination is historic, with Prabhakar being the first woman, immigrant, or person of colour nominated to serve as Senate-confirmed director of OSTP,” the White House said.

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