Washington: Leading Indian-American scientist and physicist Dr Aarti Prabhakar has been named by President Joe Biden as his top science advisor - which White House hailed as a “historic” nomination. If confirmed by the Senate, she will be the first woman, immigrant, or person of colour to head the Office of Science and Technology Policy. “I share Dr Prabhakar’s belief that America has the most powerful innovation machine the world has ever seen,” Biden said of the 63-year-old who was born in New Delhi and is on the cusp of being a member of the Biden cabinet.
Prabhakar has been unanimously confirmed by the Senate before, to lead the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and was the first woman to hold that role. She later served as director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the birthplace of breakthrough technologies like stealth aircraft and the Internet.
So far, Prabhakar has led two different federal R&D agencies and worked with startups, large companies, universities, government labs, and nonprofits across a wide variety of sectors to create powerful new solutions for critical challenges. She is an engineer and applied physicist with extensive management and leadership credentials.
Prabhakar served as director of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency from 2012 to 2017. She oversaw teams that prototyped a system for detecting nuclear and radiological materials before a terrorist can build a bomb, developed tools to find human trafficking networks in the deep and dark web, and that enabled complex military systems to work together even when they were not originally designed to do so. She also established a new office to spur novel biotechnologies, the White House said.
Anjali Chaturvedi joins administration
Prominent Indian-American legal expert Anjali Chaturvedi has been nominated by Biden as general counsel in the veterans affairs department. Anjali is a deputy assistant attorney general in the criminal division of the US department of justice, according to the White House website. She has been nominated for general counsel, US department of veterans affairs.
The main vision of the department is to provide veterans the world-class benefits and services they have earned - and to do so by adhering to the highest standards of compassion, commitment, excellence, professionalism, integrity, accountability, and stewardship.