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New Science Advisor to Be Named

US President Joe Biden is to name Arati Prabhakar, a physicist and former head of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, as his science advisor and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Science reports.

In addition to previously leading DARPA during the Obama Administration, Prabhakar also led the National Institute of Standards and Technology under the Clinton Administration. According to Science, Prabhakar received her PhD from Caltech and then worked as a program manager at DARPA before taking the NIST post. Since leaving as head of DARPA, she founded a nonprofit called Actuate that works with philanthropies to fund "solutions R&D," according to Science.

John Holdren, who led OSTP for eight years during the Obama Administration tells Science that Prabhakar would be "an excellent OSTP director and science advisor to the president."

Prabhakar, if confirmed to the posts, would succeed Eric Lander, who resigned from the two positions in February after bullying staff. Francis Collins, the former director of the US National Institutes of Health, and Alondra Nelson, the Deputy Director for Science and Society at OSTP, have been serving as interim science advisor and OSTP director, respectively.