OSTP Director Nominee, Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier, Advances Through Committee

2018-09-10T16:34:29+00:00 September 10, 2018|
(Credit: Bill Ingalls/NASA)

(Credit: Bill Ingalls/NASA)

From: Ocean News Weekly/ By: Ocean Leadership Staff 

What It Was

The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee held a nomination hearing and markup for Kelvin Droegemeier, to be Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and his nomination was approved at the committee level with strong bipartisan support.

Why It Matters

The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) counsels the executive branch on scientific, engineering, and technological affairs. Situated between the scientific agencies and the president, OSTP leads efforts in interagency science and technology coordination; provides scientific and technological analyses regarding policies, plans, and programs; and aids in the annual budget process for research and development budgets. The director serves a key role in the advancing federal science, policy, and technology.

Key Points

President Trump has taken his time nominating a director of OSTP, more than a year longer than any other president in modern times, and his nomination Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier is getting support from both sides of the aisle and the scientific community (including COL).

Dr. Droegemeier has dedicated over 30 years to academia with expertise in meteorology, geoscience, science policy, and atmospheric science; served 12 years on the National Science Board; and pushed for increased federal science funding. Given that President Trump’s last two budget requests have recommended significant federal science cuts, having an advocate for funding increases in the role of OSTP director could fare well for the science community.

During his confirmation hearing, Dr. Droegemeier highlighted U.S. success in science and the need for partnerships, stating: “The tools, technologies, and research capabilities of the United States remain unmatched in the world. The pace of discovery is accelerating, and the global science and engineering ecosystem is rife with both competition and opportunities for cooperation.” He further outlined the threats to America’s science and technology, including regulatory burdens, funding reductions, and international competition. “China has the wealth and expressed desire to challenge our longstanding leadership. We must recognize that challenge, but we must also embrace the value of collaboration.”

Committee Chairman John Thune (SD) and Ranking Member Bill Nelson (FL) underscored Dr. Droegemeier’s qualifications, the overwhelming support from the scientific community, and urged the Senate to quickly approve the appointment.

Quotable

“We must accelerate our progress through more effective planning, strategic investments, and by eliminating barriers that unnecessarily hinder us without sacrificing our fundamental freedoms.” – Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier, Nominee for Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy

“There are a number of critical issues facing this country that will benefit from the input of the White House science advisor – the algae disaster in my state, the opioid crisis and sea level rise to name a few.” – Committee Ranking Member Bill Nelson (FL)

“There is no one who is better qualified for this job.” – Senator James Inhofe (OK)

Next Steps

The nomination awaits scheduling for the Senate floor. Senators will have an opportunity to debate the nomination before holding a vote on Dr. Droegemeier’s appointment.

Find Out More

Watch the full markup

Watch the full hearing

Related coverage from the Consortium for Ocean Leadership

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