Trump Administration Executive Order Reestablishes the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST)

Oct 28, 2019


Last week President Trump issued an Executive Order establishing an advisory council on science and technology: the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). PCAST is established or re-established at the discretion of each administration. Under President Trump, the council has a broad mandate to “advise the President on matters involving science, technology, education, and innovation policy” and provide technical expertise to inform relevant public policy. This announcement from the White House comes 33 months after President Trump was sworn into office. Under the previous administration, PCAST was established within four months of the President being sworn into office.
The Executive Order states that the Council should have not have than 17 members, which includes the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and up to 16 additional members appointed by the President. So far, the President has appointed seven members to sit on the Council with the Director of the White House OSTP Kelvin Droegemeier serving as the chairman. The President’s appointees include engineers and scientists with expertise in artificial intelligence (AI), 3D printing, biotech, chemical manufacturing, and quantum computing, among other things.
President Trump’s PCAST Appointees include:
  • Dario Gil, Director, IBM Research
  • Catherine Bessant, Chief Operations and Technology Officer, Bank of America
  • H. Fisk Johnson, CEO, S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc.
  • Shane Wall, Chief Technology Officer, HP; Director, HP Labs
  • Sharon Hrynkow, Chief Science Officer, Cyclo Therapeutics, Inc
  • K. Birgitta Whaley, Professor of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley; Co-Director of the Berkeley Quantum Information and Computation Center, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
 No date has been set for PCAST’s first meeting. ASME will continue to monitor all PCAST activates.

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