White House Profile
John P. Holdren
Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy

Dr. John P. Holdren is Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Co-Chair of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).

Prior to joining the Obama administration Dr. Holdren was Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy and Director of the Program on Science, Technology, and Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, as well as professor in Harvard's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Director of the independent, nonprofit Woods Hole Research Center. From 1973 to 1996 he was on the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley, where he co-founded and co-led the interdisciplinary graduate-degree program in energy and resources.

Dr. Holdren holds advanced degrees in aerospace engineering and theoretical plasma physics from MIT and Stanford and is highly regarded for his work on energy technology and policy, global climate change, and nuclear arms control and nonproliferation. 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 foreign member of the Royal Society of London and former president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His awards include a MacArthur Foundation Prize Fellowship, the John Heinz Prize in Public Policy, the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, and the Volvo Environment Prize. He served from 1991 until 2005 as a member of the MacArthur Foundation's board of trustees.

During the Clinton administration Dr. Holdren served as a member of PCAST through both terms and in that capacity chaired studies requested by President Clinton on preventing theft of nuclear materials, disposition of surplus weapon plutonium, the prospects of fusion energy, U.S. energy R&D strategy, and international cooperation on energy-technology innovation. In December 1995 he gave the acceptance lecture for the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, an international organization of scientists and public figures in which he held leadership positions from 1982 to 1997.

Follow the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on Twitter @WhiteHouseOSTP.

John P. Holdren's Posts

  • A Note on Genome Editing

    The White House fully supports a robust review of the ethical issues associated with using gene-editing technology to alter the human germline. The Administration believes that altering the human germline for clinical purposes is a line that should not be crossed at this time.


  • Energy and Environment

    Announcing New Steps to Promote Pollinator Health

    Pollinators are critical to the Nation’s economy, food security, and environmental health. Honey bee pollination alone adds more than $15 billion in value to agricultural crops each year, and helps ensure that our diets include ample fruits, nuts, and vegetables. This tremendously valuable service is provided to society by honey bees, native bees and other insect pollinators, birds, and bats. That’s why today, the Obama Administration is releasing a new National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators.


  • President Obama Names Megan Smith U.S. CTO, Alexander Macgillivray Deputy U.S. CTO

    President Obama announces that Megan Smith will serve as the next U.S. CTO and Assistant to the President, succeeding Todd Park, and that Alexander Macgillivray will serve as a Deputy U.S. CTO.


  • Technology

    Todd Park Named New U.S. Chief Technology Officer

    For nearly three years, Park has served as CTO of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where he oversaw the launch of HealthCare.gov, the first website to provide consumers with a comprehensive inventory of public and private health insurance plans in a single, easy-to-use tool


  • Technology

    Scientific Integrity Policies Increasingly in Place

    Departments and agencies across the Federal government submitted to OSTP their latest and, in some cases, final, drafts of their scientific integrity policies this past week, in compliance with a deadline OSTP Director John P. Holdren set in October for completion of final or draft-final versions for review.


  • Technology

    Next Steps to Ensuring Scientific Integrity

    One of my overarching tasks as the President’s science and technology advisor and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy is to ensure the integrity of scientific and technical work across the executive branch.


  • Working Families

    Supporting Scientists at the Lab Bench ... and at Bedtime

    Today in the East Room, First Lady Michelle Obama is announcing a National Science Foundation 10-year initiative to provide greater work-related flexibility to women and men in research careers.


  • Innovations

    America COMPETES Act Keeps America's Leadership on Target

    President Obama signs the America COMPETES Act, signifying his commitment to maintaining America’s place as a leader in innovation and ingenuity.


  • Technology

    COMPETES Passage Keeps America's Leadership on Target

    President Obama signed America COMPETES yesterday, signifying his commitment to maintaining America’s place as a leader in innovation and ingenuity. Also, in December, the President signed a two-year retroactive extension of the Research and Development tax credit through 2011, providing important incentives for companies to invest in America’s future.


  • Technology

    COMPETES Passage Keeps America's Leadership on Target

    John Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, recently blogged about the bipartisan passage of the America COMPETES Act.


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