President Biden has appointed 15 leaders in the quantum information science (QIS) field from industry, academia, and Federal laboratories to serve on the inaugural presidential National Quantum Initiative Advisory Committee (NQIAC), according to a Dec. 9 White House press release.

The NQIAC is tasked with providing an independent assessment of the 2018 National Quantum Initiative (NQI) Act and to make recommendations to the president, Congress, the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) Subcommittee on Quantum Information Science, and the NSTC Subcommittee on Economic and Security Implications of Quantum Science.

The NQIAC was legislated by the NQI Act – a whole-of-government program to ensure continued U.S. leadership in QIS, which the Biden-Harris Administration has identified as a critical and emerging technology.

The NQIAC was first established in 2019 to serve under the Energy Department, but through a May 2022 Executive Order, Biden elevated the NQAIC to a presidential advisory committee.

Charles Tahan – the assistant director for QIS and the director of the National Quantum Coordination Office within the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy – will co-chair the committee.

Other members include the Director of Research at the National Security Agency, Gilbert Herrera; Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor William Oliver; Microsoft’s Vice President of Quantum Software, Krysta Svore; Fellow at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Jun Ye; and Professor Robert Schoelkopf at Yale University, among others.

The 15-member committee is designed to be run by leaders from diverse backgrounds and expertise to ensure the NQIAC is well-suited to advise the president on “quantum information science and technology research, development, demonstrations, standards, education, technology transfer, commercial application, and national security and economic concerns,” as stated in the NQI Act, as well as to represent the needs of “industry, universities, and Federal laboratories.”

The advisory committee will hold its first meeting on Dec. 16.

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Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.