The US Senate confirmed Kelvin Droegemeier this week as director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Stat News reports.
President Donald Trump nominated Droegemeier, a meteorologist at the University of Oklahoma, to the post this summer. The science advisor spot, Stat News notes, had been empty since the start of the Trump administration. This had raised concerns about whether the president and the White House were receiving needed science advice, especially as the size of the OSTP office has reportedly shrunk.
The Associated Press adds that Droegemeier also was Oklahoma's vice president for research and served on the federal National Science Board under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. When Droegemeier was nominated, he garnered support from much of the scientific community, with John Holdren, who led OSTP during the Obama Administration, telling Nature at the time that Droegemeier was a "very solid choice" with "experience in speaking science to power."
Stat News notes, though, that it is unclear how much of an influence Droegemeier may have on the Trump Administration, which it says can be "skeptical of mainstream science."