President Biden nominates an Indian-American scientist for a key White House job | Indian news

NEW DELHI: US President Joe Biden has announced his intention to nominate Indian-American scientist Dr. Arati prabhakar to serve as director of the office of science and technology policy (OSTP), and once confirmed in this position, also as assistant to the president for science and technology. In this capacity, Dr. Prabhakar will serve as Chief Advisor to the President on Science and Technology, Co-Chairman of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and a member of the President’s Cabinet.
“Dr. Prabhakar is a brilliant and highly respected engineer and applied physicist and will lead the Office of Science and Technology Policy to harness science, technology and innovation to expand our possibilities, solve our toughest challenges and make what is possible. impossible,” President Biden said. he said in a statement announcing the nomination. “I share Dr. Prabhakar’s belief that the United States has the most powerful innovation machine the world has ever seen. As the Senate considers his nomination, I am grateful that Dr. Alondra Nelson continues to lead the OSTP and that Dr. Francis Collins continues to serve as my interim scientific adviser.”
Welcoming Dr. Prabhakar’s nomination for the key post, Research!America, an influential nonprofit health and medical research advocacy alliance, said US science and technology.
Prabhakar has been unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate before to head the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and was the first woman to hold that position. She later served as director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the birthplace of innovative technologies like stealth aircraft and the Internet, according to the White House statement.
If confirmed to lead the 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. The nomination is historic, as Prabhakar is the first woman, immigrant or person of color nominated to serve as OSTP director confirmed by the Senate.
Dr. Prabhakar has led two different federal R&D agencies and has worked with startups, large companies, universities, government labs, and non-profit organizations in a wide variety of industries to create powerful new solutions to critical challenges.
Prabhakar served as director of DARPA from 2012 to 2017, where she oversaw teams that prototyped a system to detect nuclear and radiological materials before a terrorist can build a bomb, that developed tools to find human trafficking networks on the web deep and dark, and that allowed complex military systems to work together even when they were not originally designed to do so, the White House statement added. She “she also established a new office to promote new biotechnologies. Under her leadership, DARPA launched the development of a rapid-response mRNA vaccine platform, enabling the fastest safe and effective vaccine development in global history in response to COVID-19.”
Prabhakar was unanimously confirmed by the US Senate to head the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), taking over when she was just 34 years old, as the first woman to lead the agency. At NIST, which she directed from 1993 to 1997, she helped take the manufacturing extension partnership to boost the competitiveness of small and medium-sized manufacturers, and the advanced technology program to stimulate technology advanced in early stage. developing. She also reinforced NIST’s long-standing mission in measurement science and technology that underpins high-quality manufacturing and commerce.
Bart Gordon, Vice Chairman of the Board of Research!America and a partner at K&L Gates LLP, said he had the privilege of working with Dr. Prabhakar when he chaired the House science committee. “I think he is a perfect fit for this vital role,” Gordon said.
Between her federal leadership roles, Prabhakar spent 15 years in Silicon Valley, helping implement R&D as a business executive and as a venture capitalist. Her work included components for consumer electronics and semiconductor process technology. In 2019, she founded Actuate, a nonprofit organization that brings new actors to the table to develop solutions to the challenges of climate, health, trusted data and information technology, and opens access to opportunities for all people. .
Prabhakar’s family immigrated from India to the United States when she was three years old, first to Chicago and then settling in Lubbock, Texas, where she earned her electrical engineering degree from Texas Tech University. She was the first woman to earn a doctorate in applied physics from the California Institute of Technology, where she also earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering. She began her career in the legislature as a member of Congress in the Office of Technology Assessment.
She is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and a member of the National Academy of Engineering, as well as a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.

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