Trump’s pick to head White House science office gets good reviews

Kelvin Droegemeier, Oklahoma Secretary of Science and Technology, is pictured in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

The long wait for a White House science adviser is over. President Donald Trump announced today that he intends to nominate meteorologist Kelvin Droegemeier, a university administrator and former vice-chair of the governing board of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), to be director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). The OSTP director traditionally, but not always, also holds the title of the president’s science adviser.

The move caps a search process of record-setting length—nearly 560 days, double the longest time taken by any other modern president to name an OSTP director. Many in the research community had lamented the delay. But the wait may have been worth it: Droegemeier, a respected veteran of the Washington, D.C., policymaking scene, is getting positive reviews from science and university groups.

“He’s a very good pick. … He has experience speaking science to power,” says environmental policy expert John Holdren, who served as science adviser under former President Barack Obama and is now at Harvard University. “I expect he’ll be energetic in defending the R&D budget and climate change research in particular.”…

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