Cantwell Highlights Dr. Prabhakar’s Exceptional Experience, Leadership for OSTP Director as Senate Set to Approve Science & Tech

July 22, 2022

Cantwell: “Science has never been more important and Dr. Prabhakar is absolutely, I believe, the right person to lead this agency”


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, called Dr. Arati Prabhakar, President Biden’s nominee to serve as director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the right person to lead the agency’s efforts to grow diversity in STEM and advance U.S. leadership in science and tech through the implementation of the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA).

“Science has never been more important and Dr. Prabhakar is absolutely, I believe, the right person to lead this agency,” said Sen. Cantwell during Dr. Prabhakar’s appearance before the Committee. “She's exactly the kind of inspirational leader we need to make progress on the growing need to have more women participating in science and across technical workforce needs.”

“For many decades, American science and technology has been the most powerful engine for innovation in history—and that’s an achievement that did not happen by accident,” said nominee Dr. Arati Prabhakar. “OSTP is at the heart of making sure that U.S. science and technology leadership endures in this very complex century that we're living in…If I'm fortunate enough to be confirmed, you will find me to be a staunch partner in this work.”

Chair Cantwell during the OSTP Director nomination hearing

“I'm also confident she's the right person to work with us on implementing USICA,” Sen. Cantwell continued.

Sen. Cantwell worked to ensure that the Senate acted this week to advance legislation built upon USICA to provide urgently needed investments in U.S. semiconductor manufacturing and research and development for new innovations and technologies vital to the United States’ national security and global economic competitiveness.

The OSTP director will play a vital role in ensuring the implementation and effectiveness of new programs created by the Act, including requiring the director to develop and submit to Congress a comprehensive national science and technology strategy.

President Biden nominated Dr. Prabhakar on June 21, 2022. The director will serve as the President’s Chief Advisor for Science and Technology, a co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and Cabinet member since President Biden elevated the position at the start of his term.

Chair Cantwell’s opening statement is available here and video here.