President-elect Joe Biden has selected two Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) faculty leaders for top science and technology posts in his administration.
Eric Lander, Director at the Broad Institute of MIT’s biomedical and genomic research center, has been named Presidential Science Advisor. He has also been nominated as director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Vice President for Research at MIT, Maria Zuber, has been named co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCSAT).
Her duties on the council will be shared along with Frances Arnold, 2018 Nobel Prize winner in chemistry.
The two MIT professors will join Biden in Delaware on Saturday for a meeting with other top advisors on science and technology. This team will recommend strategies and initiatives to address health needs, climate change, and economic prosperity.
Biden taps Eric Lander and Maria Zuber for senior science posts: Lander to take a leave of absence to assume Cabinet-level post; Zuber to co-chair presidential advisory council. https://t.co/cyK2qnQRrx pic.twitter.com/nwjSb3J91y
— Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (@MIT) January 15, 2021
MIT President L. Rafael Reif lauded the faculty members: “Eric Lander is a superb choice with his piercing intelligence and remarkable record as a scientific pioneer. And given her leadership of immensely complex NASA missions, it is difficult to imagine someone more qualified to co-chair PCAST than Maria Zuber.”
Biden’s Top Picks
With just a day left until Biden’s inauguration, people are waiting to see how his nominees — which include several women, people of color, and some with outstanding academic pedigrees — will lead the country.
In addition to Lander and Zuber, Biden has also picked Antony Blinken as his Secretary of State. Blinken, who graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard, went on to Columbia where he completed law school in 1988.
Avril Haines is Biden’s pick for the position of Director of National Intelligence. Haines, who would be the first woman to head the agency, is a physics graduate from the University of Chicago. She later earned her law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center.
Other appointees include Yale graduates Jacob Sullivan and former Massachusetts Senator, presidential candidate, and Secretary of State John Kerry.