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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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