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Trump picks computer scientist to lead National Science Foundation

2019-12-26 | Since 2 Month

Sethuraman Panchanathan — known as “Panch” — has served on the National Science Board, which oversees the National Science Foundation, since 2014Credit: Arizona State UniversityUS President Donald Trump has chosen Sethuraman Panchanathan, a computer scientist and vice-president at Arizona State University in Tempe, to be the next head of the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The president also tapped Neil Jacobs, the acting head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), to run that agency on a permanent basis. Jacobs, an atmospheric scientist who formerly worked in industry, has been temporarily in charge at NOAA since February. The agency has not had a permanent chief since Trump took office in January 2017.

Both nominees need to be confirmed by the Senate before they can take office.

At the NSF, Panchanathan would succeed France Córdova, an astrophysicist who has headed the agency since 2014. Her six-year term expires in 2020.

“Dr. Panchanathan′s commitment, creativity, and deep insights will be instrumental in leading the National Science Foundation on its continued path of exploration and discovery,” said Kelvin Droegemeier, Trump′s science adviser and the head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, in a statement.

The nominee said he was “humbled and honored” to be chosen, according to a statement.

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