"Biden Picks First Woman, Person Of Color As Science Adviser"

"WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden nominated the former head of two federal science and engineering agencies to be his science adviser, who if confirmed by the Senate, will be the first woman, person of color and immigrant to hold that Cabinet-level position.

Biden nominated engineer and physicist Arati Prabhakar, who during the Obama administration directed the James Bond-like Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) which came up with the Internet and stealth aircraft, to the science adviser job, which also includes running the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Prabhakar helped kick-start work in DARPA that eventually led to the type of RNA vaccine used to develop shots for COVID-19. In the 1990s, starting at the age of 34, she was the first woman and youngest person to run the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Prabhakar would take over after Biden’s initial science adviser, Eric Lander, resigned when a White House investigation found he bullied staff members amid complaints about how he treated co-workers. It was the first such resignation of the Biden administration. Lander had previously been criticized for downplaying the contributions of women in science. He would be replaced by Prabhakar, who was also the first woman to earn a doctorate in applied physics from Caltech, after getting a master’s and bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering."

Seth Borenstein reports for the Associated Press June 21, 2022.

Source: AP, 06/23/2022