Senate Confirms Sethuraman Panchanathan as Next NSF Director
Senate Confirms Sethuraman Panchanathan as Next NSF Director

June  2020

On June 18, the Senate voted under unanimous consent to confirm Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan as the next director of the National Science Foundation (NSF). President Donald Trump nominated Panchanathan as NSF director on December 19, 2019, to succeed former NSF director France Córdova, whose term ended on March 31.

“Congratulations to Dr. Panchanathan for being confirmed by the Senate to be the next NSF director,” said AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine. “His experience on the National Science Board and his role in advancing innovative research at Arizona State University make him well-suited to lead NSF.”

Panchanathan is executive vice president of the ASU Knowledge Enterprise and chief research and innovation officer at Arizona State University. President Barack Obama appointed him in 2014 to serve on the National Science Board, which establishes NSF policies and advises Congress and the President.

Prior to the full Senate confirmation vote, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee advanced Panchanathan’s nomination on June 3. AERA joined a letter from the Coalition for National Science Funding to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) supporting the nomination and urging a swift confirmation vote.

“AERA looks forward to working with Dr. Panchanathan as he begins his term as NSF director,” Levine said. “We also want to salute and thank Kelvin Droegemeier, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, who had been serving as the acting director of NSF.”