Seven months after her initial nomination, Dr. France Córdova was confirmed Wednesday night by the U.S. Senate as the new Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF). An astrophysicist by training, Dr. Córdova comes to the job from the Smithsonian Institution, where she was the Chairman of the Board of Regents. She is also a member of the National Science Board.
Her experience as a current member of the Board means that she is more familiar than most with the current challenges facing NSF as Congress has been increasingly adversarial in its relationship. The recent markup of NSF authorization legislation suggests a Congress that is unwilling to trust the Foundation (or is looking for eliminating discretionary spending wherever they think they can find political cover).
Welcome and congratulations, Dr. Córdova. Good luck, you’re going to need it.