Dr. Lander will become the first OSTP Director in U.S. history to serve in the President’s Cabinet
Today, the U.S. Senate voted, in a unanimous voice vote, to confirm world-renowned scientist Dr. Eric Lander to become the 11th Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) – and the first in U.S. history to serve in the President’s Cabinet. Dr. Lander will also serve as the President’s Science Advisor.
“America’s future depends on science and technology like never before,” said Dr. Eric Lander. “In elevating OSTP to the Cabinet, President Biden made clear that science and technology will be central to solving the nation’s most urgent challenges.”
In a letter to Dr. Lander, President Biden underscored the need to refresh and reinvigorate our national scientific and technological strategy. He charged Dr. Lander and OSTP with ensuring that the United States harness the full power of science and technology on behalf of the American people. President Biden wrote that the science-based actions we set in motion today can create solutions for our greatest climate, health care, and national security challenges – and deliver “a healthier, safer, more just, peaceful, and prosperous world” for future generations.
“OSTP’s mission is to maximize the impact of science and technology to advance health, prosperity, security, environmental quality, and justice for all Americans,” Dr. Lander said. “To succeed, we must ensure that every American — regardless of gender, race, resources or region — can participate fully in science and technology and have a voice in shaping our nation’s priorities. America’s unrivaled diversity is one of our greatest assets. After all, scientific progress depends on people seeing questions or answers that no one has seen before – because they bring a unique lens, unique experiences, unique questions, unique passions. We need everyone.”
A biologist and mathematician, Dr. Lander has been a leader in scientific research, in building scientific communities, and in public policy. From 1990-2004, Dr. Lander was one of the principal leaders of the Human Genome Project, which helped unlock breakthroughs in genetics for medicine and health. Following the Human Genome Project, Dr. Lander founded and led the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, which focuses on innovations and applications in genomic medicine. For decades, Dr. Lander has also played a key role in ensuring high standards in forensic science, with his early efforts helping lead to the founding of the Innocence Project, which has helped exonerate hundreds of wrongfully convicted people in the United States. For the eight years of the Obama-Biden Administration, Dr. Lander served as co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.