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New Leadership at the National Science Foundation (10-7-04)

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On September 15th, President Bush announced his nomination of Arden L. Bement, Jr. for the Director of the National Science Foundation. The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions moved quickly to approve Bement for the job. Bement has already been serving as acting director since February after former director Rita Colwell stepped down. He will retain the title of acting director until the full Senate confirms his nomination, which may happen before Congress adjourns for the year. Hratch Semerjain will now step up to replace Bement as chairman of the National Institute for Science and Technology.

"The Foundation has a rich history of strong and independent Directors, and I look forward to continuing with that tradition," said Dr. Bement in accepting the nomination. Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) endorsed the nomination saying, "I'm delighted that the President has nominated Arden Bement to be the Director of the National Science Foundation…It would be hard to think of a better person for the job." Bement comes to the NSF after years of working in private industry, academia, and government, including senior positions in the Department of Defense.

To learn more about Bement, click here. (10/7/04)

Previous Action

National Science Foundation (NSF) Director Dr. Rita Colwell resigned her position effective February 21st. She will become Chairwoman of Canon U.S. Life Sciences, Inc., a company whose goal is to identify and develop life-science solutions with potential applications in diagnostics and medical instrumentation. Colwell will also serve as Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park and on the faculty of The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where she will help develop a new international center for the study of infectious diseases, water and health. Colwell is a microbiologist and internationally recognized expert on cholera and other infectious diseases.

Dr. Arden Bement, Director of National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), will assume the role of interim director for NSF on February 21st. Bement will remain accountable to Congress and the Bush Administration for NIST during this time, and will return to be full time director of NIST once a new NSF director is appointed. In addition to a 39-year career in industry, government and academia, Bement has also served on the National Science Board, which governs NSF. (2/13/04)


Sources: Coalition for National Science Funding, National Center for Science Education, National Science Foundation

Contributed by Gayle Levy, AGI/AAPG 2004 Spring Semester Intern; Emily Lehr Wallace, Government Affairs Program Staff and David Millar, AGI/AAPG 2004 Fall Semester Intern.

Please send any comments or requests for information to AGI Government Affairs Program.

Last updated on October 7, 2004

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