President Biden to Nominate Dr. Arati Prabhakar as Head of Science and Technology Policy

The former Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and leader of the National Institute of Standards and Technology will go down in history as the first woman, immigrant or black man confirmed to head the OSTP.

Today, President Biden announced his intention to nominate Dr. Arati Prabhakar as Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and, after confirming this position, also as Assistant to the President for Science and Technology. In this capacity, Dr. Prabhakar will be the President’s Chief Adviser on Science and Technology, Co-Chair 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 respected engineer and applied physicist and will lead the Office of Science and Technology Policy to use science, technology and innovation to expand our capabilities, solve our most difficult challenges and make the impossible possible. “President Biden said. “I share Dr. Prabhakar’s conviction 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 the OSTP and Dr. Francis Collins will continue to serve as my current scientific advisor. ”

Prabhakar was unanimously confirmed by the Senate before heading the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and was the first woman to hold the role. She later worked as the director of the Agency for Advanced Defense Research Projects (DARPA), the birthplace of breakthrough technologies such as stealth aircraft and the Internet.

If confirmed to lead the OSTP, Prabhakar will become the third Asian American, Hawaiian or Pacific Indian to serve in President Biden’s office, joining Vice President Kamala Harris and US Trade Representative Catherine Thai. Today’s nomination is historic, with Prabhakar being the first woman, immigrant or black man to be nominated to serve as a Senate-confirmed OSTP director.

Dr. Arati Prabhakar, nominated Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy

Dr. Arati Prabhakar has led two different federal R&D agencies and worked with startups, large companies, universities, government labs and non-profit organizations in a wide variety of sectors to create powerful new solutions to critical challenges. . She is an engineer and applied physicist with extensive managerial and leadership skills.

Prabhakar was director of DARPA, the Agency for Advanced Defense Research Projects, from 2012 to 2017. At DARPA, she led teams that prototyped a system for detecting nuclear and radiological materials before a terrorist could create a bomb that developed tools. to detect human trafficking networks in the deep and dark networks and this allowed complex military systems to work together, even when they were not originally designed for it. It has also set up a new office to stimulate new biotechnology. Under her leadership, DARPA has spurred the development of a platform for rapid response mRNA vaccines, making the fastest safe and effective vaccine development in world history possible in response to COVID-19.

Prabhakar was unanimously confirmed by the US Senate to head the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), taking the helm at the age of 34 as the agency’s first woman. At NIST, which she led from 1993 to 1997, she helped move from an early start-up to the national scale of the Production Expansion Partnership to increase the competitiveness of small and medium-sized producers, and the Advanced Technology Program of advanced technology at an early stage of development. It also strengthened NIST’s long-standing mission in the field of measurement science and technology, which is at the heart of trade and high-quality manufacturing.

Among her federal leadership roles, Prabhakar spent 15 years in Silicon Valley, helping to implement R&D as the company’s CEO and venture capitalist. Her work includes components for consumer electronics and semiconductor technology. In 2019, she founded Actuate, a non-profit organization that attracts new entrants to develop solutions to climate, health, reliable data and information technology challenges and open access to opportunities for everyone.

Prabhakar’s family immigrated from India to the United States when she was three, first in Chicago and then settling when she was 10 in Lubbock, Texas, where she received a degree in electrical engineering from the Technical University of Texas. She was the first woman to win a doctorate. in Applied Physics from the California Institute of Technology, where he also received a master’s degree in electrical engineering. She began her career in the legislature as a congressional assistant in the Technology Assessment Service.

She is a Fellow of the Institute of Electronics and Electronics Engineers and a member of the National Academy of Engineering and has been a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Behavioral Studies at Stanford University.


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