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Tighter Ties

According to ScienceInsider, the choice of Sethuraman Panchanathan to be the nominee to lead the US National Science Foundation underscores the increased ties between the agency and the White House.

President Donald Trump announced last week that he would be nominating Panchanathan to the post, as the six-year term of the current NSF director, France Córdova, comes to a close in the spring. Panchanathan is expected to be confirmed by the Senate to the position, as ScienceInsider notes.

Panchanathan is currently the executive vice president and chief innovation officer at Arizona State University. But he also is a member of the National Science Board, which oversees NSF. This, ScienceInsider says, has given him a good look into the inner workings of the agency.

Additionally, it says that Panchanathan served on the NSB for two years with Kelvin Droegemeier, President Trump's science advisor. Since taking on that post, Droegemeier has helped bolster the links between NSB and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, ScienceInsider notes. It adds that Droegemeier has further been credited with suggesting Panchanathan for the position.