Appointments Announced for Key Science Leadership Agency Positions
Appointments Announced for Key Science Leadership Agency Positions

June 2022

Arati Prabhakar

On June 21, President Biden announced his nomination of Arati Prabhakar to be director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Through this appointment, Prabhakar will also serve as the assistant to the president on science and technology and as a member of President Biden’s Cabinet.

Prabhakar, an applied physicist, previously served as the director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and as director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. She founded a nonprofit organization, Actuate, to advance innovative solutions for solving complex societal issues, such as climate change.

“We applaud the nomination of Dr. Prabhakar to serve as OSTP director,” said AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine. “Her experience and prior leadership make her well suited to further policies that advance innovation in the U.S. scientific enterprise.”

Alondra Nelson, OSTP deputy director for science and society, has been serving with the delegated duties of the OSTP director since February 2022, after the previous director, Eric Lander, resigned.

In addition to Prabhakar’s appointment, two other key appointments were made in June:

Kellina Craig-Henderson

Kellina Craig-Henderson was appointed to serve as assistant director for the National Science Foundation (NSF) Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) Directorate. She had served as the SBE deputy assistant director and, since December 2021, had been acting assistant director of SBE. Prior to joining NSF, Craig-Henderson was faculty in the Department of Psychology and in the Afro-American Studies and Research Program at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Jordan Matsudaira

Jordan Matsudaira was appointed to serve as the first chief economist in the Department of Education. Matsudaira will also continue to serve as deputy under secretary. Prior to joining the Department of Education, he was an associate professor of economics and education at Teachers College, Columbia University. He served as chief economist for the Council of Economic Advisers under President Obama.