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Indian-Americans: Dr. S. Panchanathan is the new NSF Director

Indian-Americans: Dr. S. Panchanathan is the new NSF Director


Mukund Patel

Chicago: Eminent Indian-American computer scientist Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan has been appointed as the 15th Director of the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF), it was officially announced here on Tuesday.

He has followed in the footsteps of many great science and engineering leaders in the USA. His term will be of six years.

Dr Sethuraman Panchanathan.

President Donald Trump had announced his nomination to serve as NSF’s 15th Director on December 18, 2019. The US Senate confirmed Dr. Panchanathan on June 18. Kevin Droegemeier, Trump’s Science Advisor, will swear Dr. Panchanathan in at a ceremony on July 2.

At present, he is Executive Vice President, ASU Knowledge Enterprise Development and Chief Research and Innovation Officer at Arizona State University (ASU) with Donald Trump as its President.

He has identified three pillars of his vision for the NSF: advancing research into the future, ensuring inclusivity and continuing global leadership in science and engineering.

He noted that the NSF’s mission is to fund basic research that has yielded ground-breaking discoveries over the years. “Seeding basic research across all fields of science and engineering is NSF’s core mission. NSF seeds discovery. NSF seeds the economy. NSF seeds the future,” he said.

Dr Panchanathan began his career at ASU and founded the Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing (CUbiC), a group that designed technologies and devices to assist people with disabilities. He also founded and led the School of Computing and Informatics and the Department of Biomedical Informatics. He was appointed as Arizona State University’s Chief of Research and Innovation in 2009.

During his tenure, ASU was named the Most Innovative University by the US News and World Report five years in a row and its research volume quintupled. The National Science Board (NSB) establishes NSF’s policy and advises both the agency and the US President.


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