Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.
President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced that Dr. Alondra Nelson will perform the duties of director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and Dr. Francis Collins will perform the duties of Science Advisor to the President and Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology until permanent leadership is nominated and confirmed. These appointments will allow OSTP and the President’s Science and Technology agenda to move seamlessly forward under proven leadership.
Nelson currently serves as OSTP’s Deputy Director for Science and Society. Nelson has directed priority efforts to protect the integrity of science in the federal government, broaden participation in STEM fields, strengthen the U.S. research infrastructure, and ensure that all Americans have equitable access to the benefits of new and emerging technologies and scientific innovation. She has played a key role in overseeing the implementation of the President’s early directives on Restoring Trust in Government Through Scientific Integrity and Evidence-Based Policymaking and on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.
Collins recently stepped down as the director of the National Institutes of Health, after serving as its Director for more than 12 years, under three Presidents. As the longest serving Presidentially-appointed director of NIH he oversaw the work of the largest supporter of biomedical research in the world, from basic to clinical research. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in November 2007. He will continue to run a research lab at NIH, which he has run since 1993.
In the selections of Dr. Alondra Nelson and Dr. Francis Collins, President Biden has doubled down on science. The selections are responsive to the dual importance of a strong OSTP that can drive science and technology solutions to our greatest challenges – and the very specific attention the President wants to give to the creation of a new ARPA-H research and discovery agency, the building of support for a Cancer Moonshot 2.0, the search for a new head of NIH, and the broad advisory work of PCAST.
Dr. Alondra Nelson, Deputy Director of Science and Society of OSTP and Performing the Duties of Director of OSTP
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