PCAST Members

John P. Holdren (co-chair) is Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in the Executive Office of the President. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Holdren was a Professor of Environmental Policy and Director of the Program on Science, Technology, and Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. He also served concurrently as Professor of Environmental Science and Policy in Harvard's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and as Director of the independent, nonprofit Woods Hole Research Center. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as a former President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Prize Fellowship.

Eric Lander (co-chair) is the President and Director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and co-chair of PCAST. He is also Professor of Biology at MIT and Professor of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School. Lander was one of the principal leaders of the Human Genome Project, leading the largest center in the international project. Over the past 25 years, Lander and colleagues have developed many of the key tools and generated many of the key information resources of modern human genomics. Lander earned his BA in mathematics from Princeton University in 1978 and PhD in mathematics from Oxford University in 1981 as a Rhodes Scholar. He was an assistant and associate professor of managerial economics at the Harvard Business School from 1981-1990. He has co-founded several successful biotechnology companies. Lander is the recipient of numerous awards, including the MacArthur Foundation Prize Fellowship, the Gairdner International Prize and the Albany Prize in Biomedicine. He is a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine.

William Press (vice-chair) is Professor of Computer Science and Integrative Biology at the University of Texas at Austin and has wide-ranging expertise in computer science, theoretical physics, astrophysics, computational biology, and international security. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, he previously served as Deputy Laboratory Director for Science and Technology at the Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1998 to 2004. He was a Professor of Astronomy and Physics at Harvard University from 1976 to 1998. He was the 2012-2013 President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Maxine Savitz (vice-chair) is retired general manager of Technology Partnerships at Honeywell, Inc. and has more than 30 years of experience managing research, development and implementation programs for the public and private sectors, including in the aerospace, transportation, and industrial sectors. From 1979 to 1983 she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Conservation in the US Department of Energy. She is a member and currently serves as Vice President of the National Academy of Engineering.

Rosina Bierbaum is a professor and former Dean of the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan. She has worked at the intersection of science and policy for more than 20 years, including serving as Associate Director for Environment in OSTP in the Clinton Administration and Acting Director of OSTP in 2000-2001. Dr. Bierbaum is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was awarded the Climate Protection Award from the US Environmental Protection Agency for scientific leadership in climate protection (1999), the American Geophysical Union’s Waldo E. Smith Medal in recognition of extraordinary service to geophysics (2000), and the Ecological Society of America’s Distinguished Service Citation (2010) for application of ecology in the public welfare. Her PhD is in evolutionary biology and ecology.

Christine Cassel is President and CEO of the National Quality Forum. Previously she served as President and CEO of the American Board of Internal Medicine and earlier served as Dean of the School of Medicine and Vice President for Medical Affairs at Oregon Health & Science University. A member of the US Institute of Medicine, she was named the second most influential physician executive in the US by Modern Healthcare. An expert in geriatrics, bioethics, and healthcare quality, she was a member of the President's Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry during the Clinton Administration.

Christopher Chyba is Professor of Astrophysical Sciences and International Affairs at Princeton University and a member of the Committee on International Security and Arms Control of the National Academy of Sciences. His scientific research focuses on solar system exploration, and his security-related work emphasizes nuclear, biological, and space arms control and non-proliferation. He served on the White House staff from 1993 to 1995 at the National Security Council and the Office of Science and Technology Policy. In 2001, he was awarded a MacArthur Prize Fellowship.

S. James Gates, Jr. is the John S. Toll Professor of Physics, University System of Maryland Regents Professor, and Director of the Center for String and Particle Theory at the University of Maryland, College Park. Currently Dr. Gates is a member of the Maryland State Board of Education. He has served as a consultant to the National Science Foundation, the US Departments of Energy and Defense, and the Educational Testing Service and held appointments at MIT, Harvard, California Institute of Technology and Howard University. Dr. Gates is a Fellow of the American Physics Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the National Society of Black Physicists. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a recipient of the National Medal of Science.

Mark Gorenberg is a venture capitalist and founder of Zetta Venture Partners. Previously he was Managing Director of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, which he joined in 1990 when the firm began investing its first fund. Earlier, Mr. Gorenberg was with Sun Microsystems, where he managed emerging new media areas and was a member of the original SparcStation team. Over the last 20 years, Mr. Gorenberg has served as a board member for numerous Hummer Winblad start-ups, including Omniture, AdForce, NetDynamics, and Scopus Technologies. Mr. Gorenberg is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Corporation, the Steering Committee of the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation, and the Leadership Board of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT. Mr. Gorenberg served as chair of the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment Board. Mr. Gorenberg received a BSEE from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an MSEE from the University of Minnesota, and an MS in Engineering Management from Stanford University.

Susan L. Graham is the Pehong Chen Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Emerita at the University of California, Berkeley. She received an AB in mathematics from Harvard University and MS and PhD degrees in Computer Science from Stanford University. Her research includes programming language design and implementation, software tools, software development environments, and high-performance computing. Dr. Graham has served on numerous advisory and visiting committees and has been a consultant to a variety of companies. She was a member of the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC) from 1997 to 2003. She served as the Chief Computer Scientist for the National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (NPACI) from 1997 to 2005. She currently chairs the Computing Research Association’s Computing Community Consortium. Dr. Graham is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and she is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Her honors include the Harvard Medal, the IEEE von Neumann Medal, the Berkeley Citation, and the ACM/IEEE Ken Kennedy Award. She was named a University of California Berkeley Fellow in 2011.

Shirley Ann Jackson is the President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (since 1999) and former Chair of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (1995-1999). She is a Regent of the Smithsonian, the University Vice Chairman of the US Council on Competitiveness, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, member of the American Philosophical Society, fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Physical Society, and former President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is a member of the Board of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Brookings Institution. She is a Director of IBM, FedEx, Marathon Oil, Medtronic, and PSEG. A theoretical physicist, Dr. Jackson was the first African American woman to earn a doctorate from MIT. Her policy focus is innovation and technology, energy and the environment, and STEM education, particularly higher education.

J. Michael McQuade is Senior Vice President for Science & Technology at United Technologies Corporation, where he provides strategic oversight and guidance for research, engineering and development activities throughout the business units of the corporation and at the United Technologies Research Center, focusing on a broad range of high-technology products and services to the global aerospace and building systems industries. Prior to joining UTC in 2006, Dr. McQuade served as Vice President of 3M’s Medical Division, and before that he was President of Eastman Kodak’s Health Imaging Business. His early career at 3M was focused on research and development of high-end acquisition, processing and display systems for health care, industrial imaging and remote sensing. Dr. McQuade holds PhD, MS and BS degrees in physics from Carnegie Mellon University. He received his PhD in experimental high-energy physics for research on charm quark production performed at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. Dr. McQuade is a member of the Board of Trustees for Carnegie Mellon University, the Board of Directors of Project HOPE, and the Board of Trustees for Miss Porter’s School. He serves on advisory and visiting boards for a number of university science and engineering schools. He currently serves as a member of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board.

Chad Mirkin is the George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry, Professor of Medicine, Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University. He is also the Director of Northwestern's International Institute for Nanotechnology. He is a leading expert on nanotechnology, including nano-scale manufacturing and applications of nanomaterials in medicine. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, and he is the recipient of over 60 national and international awards, including the Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology, the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize, and the Sackler Prize. Mirkin is the cofounder of three companies, Nanosphere, NanoInk, and Auarsense, all of which are commercializing applications of nanotechnology in medicine and the semiconductor industry.

Mario J. Molina is a Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego and the Center for Atmospheric Sciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, as well as Director of the Mario Molina Center for Energy and Environment in Mexico City. He received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1995 for his role in elucidating the threat to the Earth's ozone layer of chlorofluorocarbon gases. The only Mexican-born Nobel laureate in science, he served on PCAST for both Clinton terms. He is a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Molina was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013.

Craig Mundie is senior advisor to the CEO of Microsoft Corporation. In this role, he works on key strategic projects within the company, as well as with government and business leaders around the world on technology policy, regulation and standards. Previously, Mundie served as Microsoft's chief research and strategy officer, where he oversaw Microsoft Research, one of the world's largest computer-science research organizations, and was responsible for Microsoft's long-term technology strategy, directing a number of technology incubations. For more than a decade, Mundie has been Microsoft's principal technology-policy liaison to the US and foreign governments, with an emphasis on China, India and Russia. He has served on the US National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee and the Markle Foundation Task Force on National Security in the Information Age. He is a member of the Markle Initiative for America’s Economic Future in a Networked World. 

Ed Penhoet is a Director of Alta Partners. He serves on the boards of directors of ChemoCentryx, Immune Design, Metabolex, and Scynexis. A co-founder of Chiron, Ed served as the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer from its formation in 1981 until 1998. He was a member of the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee for the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). From 2004-2008 he served as the President of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation where he is currently a board member. For 10 years prior to founding Chiron, Ed was a faculty member of the Biochemistry Department of the University of California, Berkeley. From July 1998-July 2002, Ed was Dean of the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a member of the US Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  He serves on the board of Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland.

Barbara Schaal is the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the Mary-Dell Chilton Distinguished Professor at Washington University in St. Louis. An evolutionary biologist, she is recognized for her work on the genetics of plant species. She is known particularly for her studies that use DNA sequences to understand evolutionary processes such as gene flow, geographical differentiation, and the domestication of crop species. She graduated from the University of Illinois, Chicago with a degree in biology, and she received a doctorate from Yale University in 1974. She was on the faculties of the University of Houston and the Ohio State University before joining Washington University in 1980, where she served as chair of the biology department. Dr. Schaal served recently as Vice President of the National Academy of Sciences, and she is Chair of the Division on Earth and Life Studies of the National Research Council.

Eric Schmidt is Executive Chairman and former CEO of Google Inc. Before joining Google, Dr. Schmidt served as Chief Technology Officer for Sun Microsystems and later as CEO of Novell Inc. Prior to his appointment at Novell, Eric was chief technology officer and corporate executive officer at Sun Microsystems, Inc. Before joining Sun in 1983, he was a member of the research staff at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), and he held positions at Bell Laboratories and Zilog. Eric has a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University and a master's and PhD in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley. In 2006, Eric was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, which recognized his work on "the development of strategies for the world's most successful Internet search engine company."

Daniel Schrag is the Sturgis Hooper Professor of Geology in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University and Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He is also Director of the Harvard University Center for Environment. He was trained as a geochemist and has employed a variety of methods to study the carbon cycle and climate over a wide range of Earth's history, using those insights to better constrain how the Earth will be affected by climate change in the future. Awarded a MacArthur Prize Fellowship in 2000, he has recently been working on technological approaches to mitigating future climate change, including geologic carbon sequestration.