Issue Date: February 15, 2010
NSF Director To Step Down
Arden L. Bement Jr. will leave the helm of the National Science Foundation to become the director of Purdue University’s new Global Policy Research Institute (GPRI), NSF announced on Feb. 4.
Bement, 77, was appointed NSF director by President George W. Bush and was sworn in on Nov. 24, 2004, for a six-year term. He had served as the acting NSF director for 10 months prior to his appointment.
“I want to thank Dr. Bement for his nearly seven years of distinguished service at NSF’s helm and his unwavering commitment to America’s research and education enterprise,” John H. Holdren, assistant to the President for science and technology and director of the Office of Science & Technology Policy, said in a statement.
Under Bement’s watch, NSF got on a 10-year budget-doubling track as part of the America Competes Act, which was passed in 2007. Although initial budget increases under ACA were slow in coming, the agency has kept pace with the help of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009. The Administration’s 2011 budget request keeps this momentum going (see page 16).
Bement will join GPRI on June 1. The institute will draw on seven science and research disciplines.
The new position marks a homecoming of sorts for Bement. He is a former Purdue nuclear engineering professor and department head. He has also been on the faculty of MIT and has worked in the private sector at TRW Inc. and General Electric. He has held administrative positions at NIST, the Department of Defense, and Battelle Northwest Laboratories.
“Dr. Bement’s dedication and hard work at NSF and NIST is greatly appreciated and respected throughout the science and technology community,” House Science & Technology Committee Chairman Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.) said in a statement. “I applaud Dr. Bement’s years of public service and wish him luck on his future endeavors.”
Bement holds an engineer of metallurgy degree from Colorado School of Mines, a master’s degree in metallurgical material engineering from the University of Idaho, and a doctoral degree in metallurgical material engineering from the University of Michigan.
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