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France Córdova Ends Tenure as NSF Director; Timeline for Confirming New Director Unclear

National Science Foundation (NSF) Director France Córdova finished her six-year term as the head of the agency on March 31, 2020. Córdova, an astrophysicist and former Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of California at Santa Barbara, served as NSF Director since 2014. A farewell message from Córdova to NSF staff is available on the NSF website.

In January 2020, the White House announced the nomination of Sethuraman Panchanathan to succeed Córdova as NSF Director (see COSSA’s previous coverage). However, no hearing has yet been scheduled for Panchanathan’s consideration for the Senate-confirmed position due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Due to these complications in the schedule, the timeline for the Senate to consider Panchanathan for NSF Director remains unclear. COSSA will provide more details as they become available.

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Posted in Issue 7 (March 31), Update, Volume 39 (2020)

NCHS Taps BEA Director Brian Moyer to Lead Agency

On March 9, the CDC’s Deputy Director for Public Health Science and Surveillance announced the selection of Brian Moyer as the next Director of the National Center for Health Statistics, effective March 30. Moyer is currently the Director of the Bureau of Economic Analysis within the Commerce Department. Jennifer Madans has been NCHS’s acting director since the retirement of former director Charlie Rothwell at the end of 2018. It is expected that BEA’s Deputy Director Mary Bohman will take over as acting director of BEA following Moyer’s departure.

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Posted in Issue 6 (March 17), Update, Volume 39 (2020)

NIMHD Names Psychologist Monica Webb Hooper Deputy Director

The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has announced the selection of Dr. Monica Webb Hooper as its new Deputy Director. Dr. Webb Hooper comes from Case Western Reserve University’s School of Medicine, where she is a professor of oncology, family medicine, and psychological sciences. She has also served as Associate Director for Cancer Disparities Research and Director of the Office of Cancer Disparities Research at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. She comes to NIMHD with years of expertise in minority health and cancer-related health disparities spanning multiple disadvantaged populations. Dr. Webb Hooper will begin her appointment as Deputy Director on March 15, 2020. More information is available on the NIMHD website.

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Posted in Issue 3 (February 4), Update, Volume 39 (2020)

COSSA Sends Letter in Support of Panchanathan Nomination to Lead NSF

On January 21, COSSA submitted a letter to leaders of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee in support of the nomination of Sethuraman Panchanathan to be the next Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) (see previous coverage). The letter notes that “Dr. Panchanathan has a strong and clear vision on the role of research and innovation in ensuring our nation’s leadership in the global economy, and we are pleased to lend our collective voices in support of his nomination.”

Panchanathan was nominated in December for a six-year term following the upcoming retirement of current NSF Director France Cordova in March.

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Posted in Issue 2 (January 21), Update, Volume 39 (2020)

Sethuraman Panchanathan Nominated to Lead National Science Foundation

The White House announced on December 19 that President Trump intends to nominate Sethuraman Panchanathan to a six-year term as Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF). Current NSF Director France Córdova’s term ends in March. Panchanathan has been a member of the National Science Board since 2014 and leads “knowledge enterprise development” at Arizona State University (ASU). Panchanathan holds his doctorate in electrical and computer engineering and was central in founding the School of Computing and Informatics and the Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing at ASU. Following Córdova’s retirement in March, Panchanathan’s nomination will require approval by the Senate.

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Posted in Issue 1 (January 7), Update, Volume 39 (2020)

William Beach Confirmed as BLS Commissioner

On March 13, William Beach was confirmed as the next Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics after a protracted wait. Beach was originally nominated by the Trump Administration in October 2017 (see COSSA’s previous coverage). He is an economist who spent much of his career at conservative think tanks and was most recently Vice President at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center.  He also spent several years as Chief Economist for the Senate Budget Committee Republican Staff and has been involved in the evidence-based policy-making activities of the last several years. The Friends of BLS, of which COSSA is a member, endorsed his nomination. He succeeds William Wiatrowski, who has been Acting Commissioner since January 2017 when Erica Groshen’s term expired. Beach will be tasked with leading the Bureau as it faces the relocation of its headquarters and a potential move from the Department of Labor to the Department of Commerce.

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Posted in Issue 6 (March 19), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

Droegemeier and Dillingham Confirmed in Final Hours of 115th Congress

In the final hours of the 115th Congress on January 2, the Senate confirmed nearly 80 presidential nominations, including Kelvin Droegemeier to lead the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Steven Dillingham to lead the U.S. Census Bureau. Dr. Droegemeier holds a Ph.D. in atmospheric science, has served on the faculty of the University of Oklahoma, as the university’s vice president for research, and as Vice Chair of the National Science Board. Dr. Dillingham holds a Ph.D. in political science and has served as the Director for the Office of Strategic Information, Research, and Planning for the Peace Corps; the Director of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics; and the Director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Both nominations were welcomed by the scientific and statistical communities as non-controversial choices for these two important roles.

William Beach, who was nominated to lead the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and William Bryan, who was nominated to direct Science and Technology efforts at the Department of Homeland Security were not confirmed and now must have their nominations resubmitted by the President.

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Posted in Issue 1 (January 8), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

White House to Appoint J. Scott Angle to Lead NIFA

On August 31, the White House announced that it intends to appoint Dr. J. Scott Angle to be Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), the Department of Agriculture’s main extramural research agency. Dr. Angle is a soil microbiologist who most recently was the President and CEO of the International Fertilizer Development Center and has held administrative positions at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of Georgia and University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Dr. Angle would serve a six-year term, succeeding Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, whose term ended in May. As NIFA Director, Dr. Angle would be tasked with overseeing the agency’s move away from the National Capitol Region, which stakeholders are concerned could threaten the agency’s ability to operate effectively (see other article).

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Posted in Issue 17 (September 4), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

NSF Taps Karen Marrongelle to Lead Education and Human Resources Directorate

The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced on August 21 that it has chosen Dr. Karen Marrongelle to lead the Education and Human Resources (EHR) Directorate. Dr. Marrongelle has served as a professor of mathematics and statistics at Portland State University since 2001 and as the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Science since 2014. Dr. Marrongelle holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and philosophy, a master’s degree in mathematics, and a doctorate in mathematics education.

Dr. Marrongelle will arrive at EHR with experience in the directorate, having worked as program director in the Division on Research and Learning from 2007 to 2009. EHR supports fundamental research in learning and teaching, and broad efforts to achieve excellence in U.S. science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. Dr. Marrongelle will begin her appointment on October 1. The full press release can be read on the NSF website.

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Posted in Issue 17 (September 4), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

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