Over the past three years, President Biden and Vice President Harris have leveraged the full force of the federal government to advance equity and open America’s possibilities for all Black Americans. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) works to bring the President’s goals to life by harnessing the power of science, technology, and innovation to equitably achieve America’s greatest aspirations. OSTP is working to expand cancer treatment options for disadvantaged communities through the Biden Cancer Moonshot, advance the President’s Workforce Hub Initiative to boost local economies and workforces, and address bias and discrimination in artificial intelligence (AI) with President Biden’s Executive Order on the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence.

To commemorate Black History Month, Arati Prabhakar, President Biden’s chief advisor on science and technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and OSTP leaders engaged with Black Americans about the Administration’s work to further racial justice within STEM fields, and promote equity and accessibility in the development and deployment of critical technologies.

Director Prabhakar addresses participants of the newly-formed Historically Black College and University (HBCU) CHIPS Network (2/8)

The U.S. Department of Commerce hosted its first-ever meeting to launch the HBCU CHIPS Network, a collaboration between several HBCUs and the Georgia Institute of Technology to coordinate resources and build a skilled and diverse workforce in producing chips. Two years ago, President Biden signed the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act, a historic $50 billion funding opportunity to revitalize America’s domestic semiconductor industry and create hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs.

U.S. Chief Data Scientist Dr. Dominique Duval-Diop participates in a special event alongside White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre (2/15)

U.S. Chief Data Scientist Dr. Dominique Duval-Diop spoke about her personal experience as the first Black woman to hold this role, and about OSTP’s efforts to expand the federal data workforce at the Trailblazers in Action: A Symposium for Aspiring Black Women in Economics, Science and Technology Policy, a special event held at the White House for the Sadie Collective. The event featured an open networking session with Black women across the Biden Administration who work in STEM and economics.

Assistant Director for Environmental Justice Science and Technology Kristi Fedinick participates in Equity & Climate Justice Forum (2/15)

Assistant Director Fedinick joined a panel discussion during Voyage to Justice: Equity & Climate Justice Forum, hosted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA). Fedinick expressed the importance of leveraging science and technology to advance environmental justice, and ensuring federal actions are influenced by the lived experiences of communities across the nation. 

Director Prabhakar speaks with private and public sector leaders at North Carolina Central University about importance of safeguarding Artificial Intelligence (2/20)

As part of President Biden’s Investing in America Tour, Director Prabhakar visited North Carolina Central University to meet with U.S. Representatives Deborah Ross (NC-02), Valerie Foushee (NC-04), and AI industry leaders to discuss collaboration among the public and private sectors to advance the safe, secure, and trustworthy AI. The President’s fourth Investing in America tour underscored how the Biden-Harris Administration is delivering for communities across the nation by creating good-paying jobs, lowering costs for families, spurring innovation, and advancing opportunity for all Americans.

Principal Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer Deirdre K. Mulligan joins National Coalition on Black Civic Participation lecture series (2/21)

Mulligan visited Clark Atlanta University to provide remarks during the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation’s lecture series, Blindspots: How AI Systems’ Biases Impact the Black Community.In alignment with President Biden’s Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights and Executive Order on AI, Mulligan underscored the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to mitigating discriminatory biases of AI technologies, and ensuring that America leads responsible and equitable innovation of AI as an emerging resource.

OSTP Co-Hosts Federal Funding Forum on Research and Development (R&D) (2/21-2/22)

The White House convened HBCU executives, researchers, and staff to discuss research funding opportunities across the federal government. Director Prabhakar talked with HBCU executives about leveraging federal funding opportunities and the Administration’s ongoing work to advance access for research-active HBCUs. Principal Deputy Director for Policy Kei Koizumi and other Administration officials heard from HBCU leaders about the barriers their institutions are facing in securing federal R&D funding, and how federal agencies can engage with HBCUs to advance critical and emerging technologies including AI. Assistant Director for STEM Education and Workforce Nafeesa Owens and Senior Policy Advisor Eve Boyle also spoke with attendees about federal STEM education and workforce development pathways that could benefit their students.

Senior Policy Advisor Olivia Zhu participates in community-based AI event, coordinated by Black Tech Street and SeedAI (2/22)

Senior Policy Advisor Olivia Zhu traveled to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to join Hack the Future Greenwood, an event designed to explore how Tulsa’s historic Greenwood community can leverage public and private partnerships to build local competency and catalyze adoption of AI technologies in a marginalized community at scale. Zhu underscored actions the Biden-Harris Administration has taken to develop inclusive AI systems.

Assistant Director for Cancer Moonshot Engagement Anabella Aspiras joins WURD Radio’s Day at the White House (2/26)

Assistant Director Aspiras joined WURD Radio, Pennsylvania’s only African-American owned and operated talk radio station, for its Day at the White House. This series of live broadcasts explores how President Biden’s agenda is benefitting Black communities. Aspiras discussed key priorities of the reignited Biden Cancer Moonshot and detailed the ongoing work to expand access to cancer screenings, bolster patient navigation services, and drive new innovation to prevent, detect and treat cancer to address inequities and improve health outcomes for all Americans.

Deputy Director for Industrial Innovation Justina Gallegos and Senior Advisor Ishan Sharma visit Louisiana to highlight how recent place-based innovation grants are enabling a new vision for the region’s clean energy economy (2/27)

Deputy Director Gallegos and Senior Advisor Sharma visited Southern University, a key partner in both the EDA Build Back Better Regional Challenge and recently-announced NSF Regional Innovation Engine, to support a clean energy transition across Louisiana. The group included several entrepreneurs and founders, representatives from Louisiana’s HBCU network, and regional economic development leaders, and featured a discussion about recent support for a new multi-HBCU New Energy Concentration to facilitate more inclusive pathways to entrepreneurship in support of the region’s future economic vision.

Assistant Director for STEM Education and Workforce Nafeesa Owens addresses 2024 Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference (2/27)

Assistant Director Nafeesa Owens delivered a keynote speech at an annual forum that explores current research and best practices to enhance diversity and inclusion of all underrepresented populations in the engineering and computing workforce. Owens echoed the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to equity and inclusion in science and technology, and detailed coordinated federal efforts to develop our nation’s STEM talent pathways.

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