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Nominations & Appointments

FYI covers the appointments and confirmation process for key science leadership and advisory positions in the Executive Branch and Legislative Branch, particularly as they pertain to the physical sciences.

 

7 Mar 2017

Last week, the Senate confirmed Rick Perry as secretary of energy. Supporters point to his capabilities as a manager, while opponents doubt his commitment to protecting the Department of Energy and advancing its mission. Addressing department employees, Perry described his “journey” from having called for DOE’s elimination to being an advocate for its work.

22 Feb 2017

Mick Mulvaney, the new director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, has been a leader in efforts to downsize the federal government. During the Senate confirmation process, he said he believes there is a “proper role for federal government in research.

2 Feb 2017

Last week, a flurry of reports out of science-related federal agencies indicated that they had restricted external communications, among other changes.  Although these changes now appear not to have represented any immediate long-term shift in policy on scientific communications, scientific organizations have reaffirmed their commitment to scientific freedom and integrity.

27 Jan 2017

The Senate is expected to confirm Rick Perry as secretary of energy following a relatively uncontentious hearing on Jan. 19, at which the former Texas governor vowed to be a champion for all Department of Energy activities. However, Perry’s support has been partially overshadowed by a report that the Trump administration plans to target DOE for deep budget cuts and program eliminations.

19 Dec 2016

President-elect Donald Trump has selected former Texas Governor Rick Perry as his nominee for Secretary of Energy. Perry is a critic of the federal bureaucracy who has advocated for DOE’s elimination and derided climate science as systematically biased, but he is also an advocate for innovation in clean energy.

14 Dec 2016

Although no one on the president-elect’s transition team has been publicly identified as a lead point of contact for science issues broadly or at the agency level, a few members of the landing teams for agencies including the Department of Energy and NASA have backgrounds in science and/or science policy. 

23 Nov 2016

In a June 2016 white paper, James Carafano, a Heritage Foundation analyst who is now a member of Trump’s transition team, made a series of science policy recommendations for the next U.S. president, including eliminating the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

14 Nov 2016

Over the coming months, President-elect Donald Trump and his transition team will be selecting dozens of personnel for science-related leadership positions in the federal government. These choices and the administration’s broader approach to government could have significant effects on the federal science workforce and science policy.

7 Oct 2016

Steve Binkley, currently head of the Department of Energy’s Advanced Scientific Computing Research program, will become the department’s deputy director for science programs this November. Patricia Dehmer is stepping down from that role on Nov. 10 after a long and distinguished career at DOE.

5 Oct 2016

Thomas Zurbuchen, a specialist in solar and heliospheric physics and a proponent of entrepreneurship, has been named the new head of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

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