The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee voted narrowly on July 28 to approve the nomination of Arati Prabhakar to lead the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).

The nomination cleared the committee on a vote of 15-13, and will to proceed to the Senate floor for a final vote.

If confirmed, Prabhakar will be tasked with elevating OSTP’s role across a wide range of areas. Those include:

  • Ensuring the U.S. remains a global leader in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics-related fields;
  • Increasing investments in research and development;
  • Promoting greater diversity in the sciences;
  • Improving weather forecasting capabilities; and
  • Protecting scientific research.

“While I am happy to see another accomplished woman at the forefront of the Federal government’s scientific community, I am just as heartened by her commitment to put people at OSTP first, and I am pleased to support her nomination,” said committee chair Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., during the nomination hearing.

Before being nominated for this new role, Prabhakar led the National Institute of Standards and Technology and served as the Director of the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency. She also spent 15 years in Silicon Valley, working to bring R&D to deployment as a company executive and as a venture capitalist.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.