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Press Release 10-173

Subra Suresh Sworn in as NSF Director

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Subra Suresh
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October 18, 2010

Subra Suresh was sworn in today as the 13th director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) by John Holdren, President Obama's science advisor. The ceremony took place in the Secretary of War Ceremonial Room of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C. Suresh was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on September 30, 2010, for a six-year term.

Suresh, 54, served as dean of the engineering school and as Vannevar Bush Professor of Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A mechanical engineer who later became interested in materials science and biology, Suresh has done pioneering work studying the biomechanics of blood cells under the influence of diseases such as malaria.

From 2000 to 2006, Suresh served as the head of the MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering. He joined MIT in 1993 as the R.P. Simmons Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and held joint faculty appointments in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Biological Engineering, as well as the Division of Health Sciences and Technology.

Suresh holds a bachelor's degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras, a master's degree from Iowa State University, and earned his ScD from MIT in 1981.

Suresh was nominated by President Obama to become the new NSF director on June 8. He replaces Arden L. Bement, Jr., who led the agency from 2004 until he resigned in May of this year.

NSF's budget for 2010 is $6.9 billion. The agency's budget request for 2011 is $7.4 billion, an 8-percent increase over 2010, which supports the President's goal of increasing the nation's total public and private investment in research and development to at least 3 percent of the gross domestic product.

-NSF-

Media Contacts
Dana Topousis, NSF, (703) 292-7750, dtopousi@nsf.gov

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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Subra Suresh, his wife, Mary, and White House science advisor John Holdren
Subra Suresh is sworn in as NSF director in a ceremony in Washington, D.C.
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President Obama with a group of young people seated behind him
President Obama congratulates students at the first White House Science Fair.
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