Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier is Confirmed as Director of White House Office of Science and Technology

Jan 11, 2019

The United States Senate recently confirmed Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier as Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology (OSTP). President Trump announced Dr. Droegemeier’s nomination this summer, and it was approved by the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee with no issue. Dr. Drogemeier is a meteorologist with strong ties to the National Science Foundation (NSF), serving as deputy director of the NSF Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms (CAPS), cofounding the NSF Engineering Research Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere, and serving for 12 years on the National Science Board. Following his nomination, National Science Foundation Director France Cordova expressed her pleasure with the announcement, stating “I am grateful that such a champion of basic research has been selected for this important role.”

The role of OSTP is to advise the president on science-related issues as they pertain to the country’s economy, national security, foreign relations and environment. The office was formed over 40 years ago and sits under the Executive Office of the President. Prior to Dr. Droegemeier’s confirmation, OSTP had been without a director for 712 days reports the American Institute of Physics. The previous head of OSTP to serve under President Obama was John Holdren, who served for eight years. Since President Trump assumed office, the role of de facto OSTP director was filled by Deputy Chief Technology Officer and Deputy Assistant to the President, Michael Kratsios.

During his confirmation hearing Dr. Droegemeier listed three specific priorities to guide his tenure at OSTP:

  • A coordinated and comprehensive portfolio of Federal science and technology initiatives across the whole of government.
  • An education framework to produce a capable and diverse workforce essential to America’s future, covering K-12 schools, career techs, two- and four-year colleges, and America’s preeminent research universities.
  • Initiatives and new models of public-academic-private partnerships that move scientific research outcomes out of the lab and into the economy more quickly and efficiently.

In addition to his previous experience working with and supporting the federal government, Droegemeier also brings with him a strong sense of excitement to the new role, “What I love most about OSTP is that it measures its success not by what it does, but rather by the extent to which America succeeds because of it.”