Sethuraman Panchanathan Nominated as NSF Director

December 20, 2019

Sethuraman Panchanathan was nominated by President Trump Thursday as the next director of the National Science Foundation. If confirmed by the Senate, Panchanathan will succeed astrophysicist France Córdova when her six-year term ends in 2020.

Panchanathan has been a member of the National Science Board, the body that advises the NSF, since 2014. He was the first American of Indian origin to be appointed to the board. He is currently the executive vice president of knowledge enterprise development at Arizona State University.

Panchanathan has been extensively educated abroad. His bachelor's and master's degrees are from three universities in India, and his Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering is from the University of Ottawa, in Canada.

In a statement, National Science Board chair Diane Souvaine said she was delighted by the president's choice and praised Panchanathan's experience. "His leadership at Arizona State University has been key to their growth and emergence as an innovator in higher education, especially in terms of partnerships and entrepreneurship," she said in the statement. "He is the best kind of disruptor, one who understands that the best way to predict the future is to invent it."

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities released a statement applauding the selection of Panchanathan and urging his confirmation by the Senate.

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