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Nominations & Appointments

FYI covers the appointments and confirmation process for key science leadership and advisory positions in the Executive Branch and Legislative Branch, particularly as they pertain to the physical sciences.

 

18 Oct 2017

Following President Trump’s nomination of AccuWeather CEO Barry Myers to lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, some community leaders have expressed support while others have reservations about his lack of scientific background and potential conflicts of interest. Myers’ recent congressional testimony sheds light on his views on a number of science-related topics.

28 Sep 2017

The nominees for National Institute of Standards and Technology director and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration deputy director received bipartisan praise and encountered no opposition during their Sept. 27 confirmation hearing. The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee plans an Oct. 4 vote to advance them to the full Senate for consideration.

19 Sep 2017

On Sept. 12, President Trump nominated Walter Copan to be director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. FYI spoke with Copan, a scientist who has dedicated much of his career to facilitating technology transfer between the public and private sectors, about why he is interested in the role and his initial vision for the agency.

7 Sep 2017

President Trump has nominated Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) to be NASA administrator. The former Navy aviator and three-term congressman has recently promoted an ambitious vision for space policy reform that would shift NASA’s focus away from scientific research in favor of human space exploration and the development of space-based infrastructure.

23 Aug 2017

To date, President Trump has retained the directors of the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health, but has not appointed a science advisor or nominated heads for most of the federal science agencies. This pace puts him behind his predecessors, who had completed most of these appointments by the summers of their first years in office.

2 Aug 2017

Paul Dabbar and Mark Menezes, President Trump’s nominees for the two open under secretary positions in the Department of Energy, are awaiting confirmation. DOE is currently considering reconfiguring the positions’ responsibilities, with potential implications for how the department coordinates its R&D portfolio.

7 Mar 2017

Last week, the Senate confirmed Rick Perry as secretary of energy. Supporters point to his capabilities as a manager, while opponents doubt his commitment to protecting the Department of Energy and advancing its mission. Addressing department employees, Perry described his “journey” from having called for DOE’s elimination to being an advocate for its work.

22 Feb 2017

Mick Mulvaney, the new director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, has been a leader in efforts to downsize the federal government. During the Senate confirmation process, he said he believes there is a “proper role for federal government in research.

2 Feb 2017

Last week, a flurry of reports out of science-related federal agencies indicated that they had restricted external communications, among other changes.  Although these changes now appear not to have represented any immediate long-term shift in policy on scientific communications, scientific organizations have reaffirmed their commitment to scientific freedom and integrity.

27 Jan 2017

The Senate is expected to confirm Rick Perry as secretary of energy following a relatively uncontentious hearing on Jan. 19, at which the former Texas governor vowed to be a champion for all Department of Energy activities. However, Perry’s support has been partially overshadowed by a report that the Trump administration plans to target DOE for deep budget cuts and program eliminations.

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