Leading Indian-American scientist Dr Arati Prabhakar has been nominated by Joe Biden as a high science advisor to the US President, a call hailed by the White House and the Indian-American group as “historic.”
If confirmed by the Senate, Dr Prabhakar would make historical past as the primary girl, immigrant, or individual of color to move Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). She may also be the newest highly-qualified skilled from the Indian-American group to be named for a key place within the Biden administration.
“Dr Prabhakar is a brilliant and highly-respected engineer and applied physicist and will lead the Office of Science and Technology Policy to leverage science, technology, and innovation to expand our possibilities, solve our toughest challenges, and make the impossible possible,” Biden mentioned on Tuesday.
“I share Dr Prabhakar’s belief that America has the most powerful innovation machine the world has ever seen. As the Senate considers her nomination, I am grateful that Dr Alondra Nelson will continue to lead OSTP and Dr Francis Collins will continue to serve as my acting Science Advisor,” he mentioned.
Once confirmed, she would even be Assistant to the President for Science and Technology. In this capability, Dr Prabhakar would be the President’s Chief Advisor for Science and Technology, a co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and a member of the President’s Cabinet.
Further, if confirmed to guide OSTP, Prabhakar, 63, would develop into the third Asian American, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander to serve in President Biden’s Cabinet, becoming a member of Vice President Kamala Harris and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai. “Today’s nomination is historic, with Prabhakar being the first woman, immigrant, or person of colour nominated to serve as Senate-confirmed director of OSTP,” the White House mentioned.
Prabhakar has been unanimously confirmed by the Senate earlier than, to guide the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and was the primary girl to carry that function. She later served as director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the birthplace of breakthrough applied sciences like stealth plane and the Internet.
Indian Americans have welcomed Prabhakar’s nomination. “Indian American Impact is thrilled to learn that President Biden intends to nominate Dr Arati Prabhakar as Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). We applaud the President for his historic decision, which uplifts not only the exceptionally qualified Dr Prabhakar, but all South Asians and Asian Americans who aspire to reach new heights and become leaders within public service and the scientific community,” mentioned Neil Makhija from the Indian American Impact Fund.
“It’s incredible to see the President nominate Dr Prabhakar to be the first woman, the first person of colour, and the first immigrant to lead OSTP as we observe Immigrant Heritage Month this June,” mentioned Varun Nikore, govt director of AAPI Victory Alliance.
So far, Dr Prabhakar has led two totally different federal R&D companies and labored with startups, giant firms, universities, authorities labs, and nonprofits throughout all kinds of sectors to create highly effective new options for vital challenges. She is an engineer and utilized physicist with intensive administration and management credentials.
Prabhakar served as director of DARPA from 2012 to 2017. At DARPA, she oversaw groups that prototyped a system for detecting nuclear and radiological supplies earlier than a terrorist can construct a bomb, developed instruments to search out human trafficking networks within the deep and darkish net, and that enabled advanced army methods to work collectively even once they weren’t initially designed to take action. She additionally established a brand new workplace to spur novel biotechnologies, the White House mentioned.
Under her management, DARPA kick-started the event of a rapid-response mRNA vaccine platform, making doable the quickest protected and only vaccine growth in world historical past in response to COVID-19, it mentioned.
Prabhakar was unanimously confirmed by the US Senate to guide the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), taking the helm at age 34 as the primary girl to guide the company, the White House mentioned.
Prabhakar’s household immigrated from Delhi to the United States when she was three years outdated – first to Chicago after which settling when she was age 10 in Lubbock, Texas, the place she went on to get her electrical engineering diploma from Texas Tech University.
She was the primary girl to earn a PhD in utilized physics from the California Institute of Technology, the place she additionally earned an MS in electrical engineering. She began her profession within the legislative department as a Congressional Fellow on the Office of Technology Assessment.
She is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and a member of the National Academy of Engineering and was a fellow on the Center for Advanced Study within the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. Between her Federal management roles, Prabhakar spent 15 years in Silicon Valley, serving to deliver R&D to deployment as an organization govt and as a enterprise capitalist.
Last week, Biden nominated Indian-American safety knowledgeable Radha Iyengar to the highest Pentagon place. US President Biden is ready to appoint Indian-American profession diplomat Gautam Rana as the brand new US Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Slovakia, the White House mentioned in an announcement final month.
Biden nominated Indian-American diplomat Rachna Sachdeva Korhonen as his envoy to Mali in April, the third such nomination of an Indian-American in over a month.
In March, President Biden nominated two Indian-Americans as US envoys. He nominated diplomat Puneet Talwar because the nation’s ambassador to Morocco and political activist Shefali Razdan Duggal as his envoy to the Netherlands.