Office of Science and Technology Policy

The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is a department of the United States government, part of the Executive Office of the President (EOP), established by United States Congress on May 11, 1976, with a broad mandate to advise the President on the effects of science and technology on domestic and international affairs.

Office of Science and Technology Policy
Agency overview
FormedMay 11, 1976; 45 years ago (1976-05-11)
Preceding agency
  • Office of Science and Technology
HeadquartersEisenhower Executive Office Building
725 17th Street NW, Washington, D.C., U.S.
Agency executives
Parent agencyExecutive Office of the President

The director of this office is colloquially known as the President's Science Advisor. The current director is mathematician Eric Lander who was sworn in on June 2, 2021.[1]


President Ford signing H.R. 10230, establishing the Office of Science and Technology Policy

President Richard M. Nixon eliminated the President's Science Advisory Committee after his second Science Advisor, Edward E. David Jr., resigned in 1973, rather than appointing a replacement. In 1975, the American Physical Society president Chien-Shiung Wu met with the new president Gerald Ford to reinstate a scientific body of advisors for the executive branch and the president, which President Ford concurred to do.[2] The United States Congress then established the OSTP in 1976 with a broad mandate to advise the President and others within the Executive Office of the President on the effects of science and technology on domestic and international affairs. The 1976 Act also authorizes OSTP to lead inter-agency efforts to develop and to implement sound science and technology policies and budgets and to work with the private sector, state and local governments, the science and higher education communities, and other nations toward this end.

Under President Donald Trump, OSTP's staff dropped from 135 to 45 people.[3] The OSTP director position remained vacant for over two years, the longest vacancy for the position since the office's founding.[4][5][6] Kelvin Droegemeier, an atmospheric scientist who previously served as the vice president of research at the University of Oklahoma, was nominated for the position on August 1, 2018[7] and confirmed by the Senate on January 2, 2019. Michael Kratsios was nominated by President Trump to be the fourth Chief Technology Officer of the United States and Associate Director of OSTP in March 2019[8] and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate on August 1, 2019.[9]

President Joe Biden named, and the senate later unanimously confirmed,[10] Eric Lander as head of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, which is a cabinet-level post.[11]

Public-facing key staffEdit

Key positions vary among administrations and are not always published online.[12]


List of OSTP directors*[13]
No. Portrait Name President Term
1   H. Guyford Stever Gerald Ford 1976–1977
2   Frank Press Jimmy Carter 1977–1981
Benjamin Huberman (acting) Ronald Reagan 1981
3   George A. Keyworth, II 1981–1985
John P. McTague (acting) 1986
Richard G. Johnson (acting) 1986
4   William Robert Graham 1986–1989
Thomas P. Rona (acting) 1989
William G. Wells (acting) George H. W. Bush 1989
5 D. Allan Bromley 1989–1993
6   John H. Gibbons Bill Clinton 1993–1998
  Kerri-Ann Jones (acting) 1998
7   Neal F. Lane 1998–2001
  Rosina Bierbaum (acting) George W. Bush 2001
Clifford Gabriel (acting) 2001
8   John H. Marburger III 2001–2009
Ted Wackler (acting) Barack Obama 2009
9   John Holdren 2009–2017
Donald Trump 2017–2019
10   Kelvin Droegemeier 2019–2021
  Kei Koizumi (acting) Joe Biden 2021
11   Eric Lander 2021–present

* Italics indicate provisional occupants

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "White House science advisor Eric Lander sworn in on Pirkei Avot published in 1492". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. June 2, 2021. Retrieved June 2, 2021.
  2. ^ Chiang, Tsai-Chien (January 2013). Madame Wu Chien-shiung: The First Lady Of Physics Research. World Scientific. p. 184-185. ISBN 9789814579131.
  3. ^ Alemany, Jacqueline (November 21, 2017). "Donald Trump's science office is a ghost town". CBS.
  4. ^ Morello, Lauren (October 24, 2017). "Wait for Trump's science adviser breaks modern-era record". Nature. doi:10.1038/nature.2017.22878.
  5. ^ Aldhouse, Peter (January 18, 2017). "Trump's war on science isn't what you think". CBS.
  6. ^ Reardon, Sara; Witze, Alexandra (July 31, 2018). "The wait is over: Trump taps meteorologist as White House science adviser". Nature. 560 (7717): 150–151. Bibcode:2018Natur.560..150R. doi:10.1038/d41586-018-05862-y. PMID 30087470.
  7. ^ Irfan, Umair (August 1, 2018). "Trump finally picked a science adviser. He's a meteorologist. Named Kelvin". Vox.
  8. ^ "President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate Personnel to a Key Administration Post". Retrieved August 5, 2019 – via National Archives.
  9. ^ Chappellet-Lanier, Tajha (August 1, 2019). "Michael Kratsios confirmed as US CTO". Fedscoop. Retrieved August 4, 2019.
  10. ^ "Eric Lander Confirmed for Top White House Science Post | Inside Higher Ed". Retrieved June 2, 2021.
  11. ^ "Biden elevates science post to level". Yahoo News. AFP. January 15, 2021. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  12. ^ "Staff". – via National Archives.
  13. ^ "Previous Science Advisors (1973–2009)". – via National Archives.

External linksEdit