Prabhakar Tapped As Science Adviser; Health Innovation Is On Her Agenda
President Joe Biden has nominated Arati Prabhakar to run the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. She is a scientist with a Ph.D. in applied physics who, while at DARPA, was connected with early work on RNA vaccines. If confirmed by the Senate, she will be the first woman and person of color in the role, and her mandate will include a Biden-favorite push for Cancer Moonshot 2.0.
Biden Picks First Woman, Person Of Color As Science Adviser
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. (Borenstein, 6/21)
Biden Taps Prabhakar For Science Post, Eyeing Health Leaps
Prabhakar, 63, also will play an essential role in Cancer Moonshot 2.0 -- an initiative personally important to Biden that aims to cut the cancer death rate in half over the next 25 years. Prabhakar will draw on her experience leading the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency -- a Pentagon entity that develops cutting-edge national security technologies, including precision-guided weapons and stealth technology -- particularly as the administration stands up a new biomedical research accelerator. (Baumann and Jacobs, 6/21)
Arati Prabhakar Set To Become Biden’s Science Adviser And His Pick To Lead Science Office
Prabhakar’s extensive experience in Washington, D.C., and technical savvy will be a huge plus as she tackles her twin jobs, say those who know her. “I have found Arati to be very smart, very principled, and … with excellent leadership qualities,” says John Holdren, who led OSTP for 8 years and served as Obama’s science adviser. “She’d make an excellent OSTP director and science adviser to the president. ”Her reputation as a team player is an asset as well, adds Washington, D.C., lobbyist Bart Gordon, a one-time chair of the House science committee as a Democratic representative from Tennessee. “She has all the background you could ask for, and she’s also such a nice person,” says Gordon, now with K&L Gates. (Mervis, 6/13)
Indian Express News Service:
Who Is Arati Prabhakar?
An American engineer, born in New Delhi and raised in Lubbock, Texas, Prabhkar attained a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Texas Tech University in 1979. She secured a Master of Science in electrical engineering in 1980 and a PhD in applied physics in 1984, both from the California Institute of Technology, becoming the first woman to achieve a PhD in applied Physics from Caltech. Following her academic path, she went on to attain a congressional fellowship with the Office of Technology Assessment in 1984. Dedicating a career to build new technologies and businesses, Prabhakar joined the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) as a programme manager but was later promoted as founding director of DARPA’s Microelectronics Technology Office. During this course of time, Prabhakar introduced and directed programmes in advanced semiconductor technology and demonstration projects to insert new semiconductor technologies into military systems. (6/22)