Science and Technology Nominations and Recognitions

Two recent appointments of note:

The Environmental Protection Agency has found its new science adviser.  Glenn Paulson was recently announced to fill the spot, vacant since the previous occupant, Paul Anastas returned to his academic appointment earlier this year.  Paulson most recently worked as associate dean of research in the public health school at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.  He also has years of experience in environmental cleanup, having helped craft the New Jersey Superfund law while working at that state’s Department of Environmental Protection.  Paulson will not need Senate confirmation, as he was not also nominated to serve as head of the agency’s Office of Research and Development, as Anastas was.  No word yet on a new appointment for that position.

As Phil Coyle had to leave the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) because his recess appointment came to an end, there has been no Associate Director for National Security and International Affairs.  (Coyle will not be renominated, in part because of likely continued opposition.)  President Obama announced in March Coyle’s intended replacement, Patricia Falcone.  Falcone currently serves as Assistant Director for National Security in OSTP, but worked for several years at Sandia Laboratory.  Much of her background is in nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction.

This will boost the number of Associate Directors at OSTP from two to three.  The full compliment is four, but new Chief Technology Officer Todd Park will not also serve as the Associate Director for Technology at OSTP, which his predecessor did.

While not a job announcement, two of the recently announced recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom have science and technology backgrounds.  While former Senator John Glenn is being recognized in part for his Congressional service, most readers who recognize the name remember him as the first American to orbit the Earth back in 1962.  William Foege is likely recognized by many fewer people, but his contributions are dramatically more significant.  Before serving as Director of the Centers for Disease Control in the Carter Administration, Foege was a leader in the campaign to eradicate smallpox.  He has continued to work on global health projects at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as the Carter Center.

Congratulations to all concerned.  To Dr. Falcone, apologies for the likely lengthy wait until you are confirmed.  At least she already works at OSTP.

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