NSB Statement

Statement from NSB Chair Ellen Ochoa on Sethuraman Panchanathan's confirmation as NSF Director

Sethuraman Panchanathan at NSB Meeting

Sethuraman Panchanathan (Credit and Larger Version)

June 18, 2020

Sethuraman Panchanathan was confirmed today as the 15th Director of the National Science Foundation. Dr. Panchanathan, who just completed six years of service on the agency’s National Science Board, comes to the position having most recently served as Arizona State University’s Executive Vice President and the Chief Research and Innovation Officer.

National Science Board Chair Ellen Ochoa made this statement:

The National Science Board (NSB) is excited to continue to work with Dr. Panchanathan in his new role as National Science Foundation (NSF) Director.

During his time on the Board, Panch demonstrated his great enthusiasm for science and technology and his deep passion for NSF, NSF-funded research discoveries, and STEM education and training investments that make our country, and the world, a better place.

Panch’s leadership at Arizona State University was key to the university’s growth and emergence as an innovator in higher education, especially in terms of partnerships and entrepreneurship.

He shares the NSB’s belief that the U.S. and NSF must explore and experiment with new approaches to strengthen our S&E enterprise.

We look forward to partnering with Director Panchanathan and other leaders in S&E to implement our Vision 2030 Roadmap to keep America’s lead in fundamental research, ensure that U.S. discoveries continue to empower U.S. businesses and entrepreneurs, and increase STEM skills and opportunities for all Americans, especially groups who are traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields.


About the National Science Board

The NSF consists of the National Science Board and NSF Director. Jointly, the Board and the Director pursue the goals and mission of the agency. The Board identifies issues critical to NSF's future and establishes the agency’s policies within the framework of applicable national policies. The Board also serves as an independent advisory body to Congress and the Administration on policy issues in science and engineering (S&E) and education in S&E. The President appoints NSB’s 24 members—selected for their S&E expertise in research and education—for a six-year term.  

Media ContactNadine Lymn, National Science Board, (703) 292-2490, nlymn@nsf.gov

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2021 budget of $8.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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