Ashok Kaveeshwar was confirmed by the Senate by unanimous consent on Thursday, June 30, 2005.
On Thursday, June 16, 2005, at 2:30 p.m., in room 253 of the Russell Building, the Committee will hold a Full Committee hearing on the nominations of William Jeffrey, to be Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology; Ashok Kaveeshwar, to be Administrator of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration; Edmund S. Hawley, to be Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security (TSA); and Israel Hernandez, to be Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Director General of the U.S. Foreign and Commercial Service.
U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye
Good morning. I want to thank Chairman Stevens for calling this hearing to consider several of the nominations pending before our Committee. I congratulate each of the nominees for garnering the President’s confidence and for making it to this important step in the process. Each of you are slated to fill posts that are critical to America’s future economic competitiveness. From new technologies to global trade, from advanced research to the security of our transportation system, the work performed at each of your respective agencies will help ensure that America remains a global, technological leader and that our economy remains vibrant and secure. Obviously, these agencies face tremendous challenges:
- The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has been in a near constant state of reorganization, which has made their essential security work all the more complicated.
- The National Institutue for Standards and Technology (NIST) is facing aging infrastructure, and its critical assistance to America's struggling manufacturers is in jeopardy.
- The Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) is a brand new agency that will need to define its role and establish itself amongst the other modal Administrations within the Department of Transportation.
- And, the Foreign Commercial Service must find new ways to balance the security demands of its overseas operations while maintaining an active, visible presence in the markets it seeks to open.
Witness Panel 1
Mr. Ashok KaveeshwarNominated to be Administrator of the Research and Innovative Technology AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation
Prepared Statement of Ashok Kaveeshwar
Administrator, Research and Innovative Technology
Administration (RITA) – Designate
Before the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
United States Senate
June 16, 2005
Thank you Chairman Stevens, Senator Inouye and other distinguished members of the Committee. It is a tremendous honor to have been nominated by President Bush and to appear before you today. If confirmed, I look forward to joining Secretary Mineta and his superb leadership team at the Department of Transportation, and to working closely with you and your staff. I am very happy that my wife, Tuti, and our son, Jaya, are here with me today, and with your indulgence, I would like to recognize and express my appreciation to them. I know my 93-year old father in India, Gajanan Kaveeshwar, whom we call Bhau, is thrilled beyond imagination. Unfortunately, because of his advanced age and great distance, he cannot join us today. I would also like to recognize my late and beloved mother, Kaki, who passed away recently. In addition, I would like to acknowledge my many other family members and friends, some of whom are here today. Although there are commonalities in every immigrant’s journey toward the American dream, each path is unique. In 1961, I left my hometown of Indore in central India after receiving a one-year scholarship to Fredonia State College in upstate New York. I’m here before you today, because of the goodwill of people like Bob McLarin, whose family took me in for a summer, and Professor Stanley Zarlock, who took a special interest in me and encouraged me to pursue a PhD in Physics. Bob McLarin, Professor Zarlock, and millions of Americans like them, represent the special character and spirit of this nation that makes the American dream a reality for so many. Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee, I come before you today as President Bush’s nominee to be the first Administrator of the Department of Transportation’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA). It is a great honor to be asked to serve in this capacity. As envisioned by Secretary Mineta and enacted by Congress through last year’s passage of the Norman Y. Mineta Research and Special Programs Improvement Act, RITA is the Administration primarily dedicated to Research, Development and Technology coordination throughout DOT. Hence, by its very nature, RITA will have a cross-modal focus that will ensure that all RD&T investments are effective and directly tied to DOT’s strategic goals. RITA’s mission is to identify and facilitate solutions to the challenges and opportunities facing America’s transportation system. I believe my background in academic research and in industry make me well suited to carry out the responsibilities of RITA. I began my professional career as a researcher in theoretical physics. In 1974, I left academia to join a small company as a technical project manager and then progressively rose through the ranks and ultimately became the chief operating officer. The company provided research and technology development to a wide range of Federal government agencies. In 1991, the company was acquired and I successfully managed our transition from an independent company to an integrated member of a large aerospace and defense corporation. This varied background – from technical research to managing a large organization – provides that combination of technical and leadership skills that will allow me to successfully lead RITA and to achieve its goals. Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee, if confirmed, I look forward to working with you, others in the Administration, DOT’s stakeholders in the private and public sectors, and with RITA’s capable and talented staff to fulfill the vision that resulted in the creation of RITA. Again, I thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today, and I look forward to answering any questions you may have.
Mr. Israel HernandezNominated to be Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial ServiceU.S. Department of Commerce