On August 23, the Senate Commerce, Transportation, and Science Committee held a confirmation hearing to evaluate President Trump’s White House Office of Science & Technology (OSTP) nominee Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier as the next Director of the White House OSTP. While Dr. Droegemeier’s nomination has been championed on both sides of the aisle, it is long overdue. The White House has not gone this long without a science advisor since 1976 under President Gerald Ford; capping out at 19 months since President Trump took office.
Historically, the White House OSTP was first created by Congress to provide the Executive branch with the expertise in all matters related to science, technology, and engineering, as it impacts the economy and national security. Since the creation of the OSTP, scientists have served in this role to advise the President on matters related to federal research, and to assist the Office of Management and Budget, to allocate resources for the various agencies in the federal government. The Director of OSTP plays a major part in advising the President on how federal research is guided and to carry out the President’s initiatives on matters related to the STEM field.
Throughout his career, Dr. Droegemeier has played a very active role in federal scientific research, both as a researcher and as a member of the National Science Board. His background is in Meteorology, earning his Bachelors from the University of Oklahoma, and his Master’s and PhD from the University of Illinois. He has served on numerous weather advisory research programs and lead programs at the Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms. Twice, he was appointed to the National Science Board, by President’s George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Dr. Droegemeier faces a steep challenge in his role, due in part to the administrations view’s on climate change. This view has resulted in rollback of environmental regulations and an overall skepticism to anything surrounding climate change. One can hope, that Dr. Droegemeier can provide valuable insight into the topic of climate change and advise the President on finding a meaningful path forward to address the issue.
More information about Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier can be found at his university’s website.
For a list of questions sent to Dr. Droegemeier from the Senate Commerce, Transporation, and Science Committee, please find it here.