Science Group Praises Confirmation of Dr. Arati Prabhakar to Lead White House OSTP

Statement by Johanna Chao Kreilick, President, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Sep 27, 2022

Washington (September 27, 2022)—The U.S. Senate has confirmed Dr. Arati Prabhakar to serve as the new director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). This office has a critical role to play in rebuilding federal science capacity and increasing trust in government, and Dr. Prabhakar is a strong and historic candidate to lead it, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

Below is a statement by Johanna Chao Kreilick, president of UCS.

“Dr. Arati Prabhakar’s exceptional qualifications will serve OSTP well at this critical moment. She’s a respected scientist with an outstanding career in public service. Her leadership at the Defense Advanced Research Products Agency and National Institute of Standards and Technology shows she understands the role the federal government can play in spurring scientific innovation. As the first woman, the first immigrant, and the first person of color confirmed to this role, Dr. Prabhakar brings an important new perspective to OSTP.

“Science is at the heart of the biggest challenges we face—from epidemic diseases like COVID to the dangerous advance of climate change. Federal science agencies must adhere to the highest standards of integrity, give scientists the support they need to do their best work, and make decisions that advance justice and public health. Dr. Prabhakar has the experience, the expertise, and the perspective to ensure those goals are met.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Dr. Prabhakar to this new role and look forward to working with her to improve the federal scientific enterprise.”

In 2020, UCS released recommendations for how OSTP could lead the way on strengthening science and scientific integrity in the federal government. Dr. Jacob Carter, the research director for the Center for Science and Democracy at UCS and a former EPA scientist, has written extensively on federal efforts to advance science, including progress in the administration’s first hundred days and their scientific integrity task force.