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Policy

Trump’s science adviser leads NSF temporarily

Kelvin Droegemeier takes over the agency until Congress confirms nominee

by Andrea Widener
April 3, 2020

 

20200403lnp1-droeg.jpg
Credit: AP
Kelvin Droegemeier

President Donald J. Trump’s science adviser Kelvin Droegemeier has temporarily taken over as director of the National Science Foundation.

Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan was nominated for the position in December, but he has not yet been confirmed by Congress. France Córdova’s 5-year term as director ended March 31. Panchanathan, an electrical engineer and informatics specialist, is executive vice president and chief research and innovation officer at Arizona State University.

Droegemeier, who also heads the Office of Science and Technology Policy, has a long history with NSF. He served several years as vice chair of the National Science Board, which advises and oversees the agency.

20200403lnp1-panch.jpg
Credit: Arizona State University
Sethuraman Panchanathan

“He has a deep appreciation for NSF’s foundational role in our innovation economy, as well as how the pieces of our ecosystem build on the seed corn of basic research,” says Diane Souvaine, current chair of the National Science Board. “He loves our agency, and I can’t think of a better caretaker.”

CORRECTION

This story was updated on April 9, 2020, to add the accent in France Córdova's last name.

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