Office of Science and Technology Policy

The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is a department of the United States government, part of the Executive Office of the President (EOP), established by United States Congress on May 11, 1976, with a broad mandate to advise the President on the effects of science and technology on domestic and international affairs.

Office of Science and Technology Policy
Agency overview
FormedMay 11, 1976 (1976-05-11)
Preceding agency
  • Office of Science and Technology
HeadquartersEisenhower Executive Office Building
725 17th Street NW, Washington, D.C., U.S.
Agency executive
Parent agencyExecutive Office of the President

The director of this office is traditionally colloquially known as the Science Advisor to the President. A recent appointed director was mathematician and geneticist Eric Lander who was sworn in on June 2, 2021.[1] Lander resigned February 18, 2022 following allegations of misconduct.[2]

On February 16, 2022, the Biden administration announced that deputy director Alondra Nelson would serve as acting director and former NIH director Francis Collins would serve as acting science advisor. Both assumed positions on February 18, 2022. In October 2022, Arati Prabhakar became Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy.[3][4]

On August 25, 2022, OSTP issued guidance to make all federally funded research in the United States freely available without delay.[5][6]


20th century

President Ford signing H.R. 10230, establishing the Office of Science and Technology Policy

President Richard M. Nixon eliminated the President's Science Advisory Committee after his second Science Advisor, Edward E. David Jr., resigned in 1973, rather than appointing a replacement. In 1975, the American Physical Society president Chien-Shiung Wu met with the new president Gerald Ford to reinstate a scientific body of advisors for the executive branch and the president, which President Ford concurred to do.[7] The United States Congress then established the OSTP in 1976 with a broad mandate to advise the President and others within the Executive Office of the President on the effects of science and technology on domestic and international affairs. The 1976 Act also authorizes OSTP to lead inter-agency efforts to develop and to implement sound science and technology policies and budgets and to work with the private sector, state and local governments, the science and higher education communities, and other nations toward this end.

21st century

Under President Donald Trump, OSTP's staff dropped from 135 to 45 people.[8] The OSTP director position remained vacant for over two years, the longest vacancy for the position since the office's founding.[9][10][11] Kelvin Droegemeier, an atmospheric scientist who previously served as the vice president of research at the University of Oklahoma, was nominated for the position on August 1, 2018[12] and confirmed by the Senate on January 2, 2019.

Michael Kratsios was nominated by President Trump to be the fourth Chief Technology Officer of the United States and associate director of OSTP in March 2019[13] and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate on August 1, 2019.[14] During Trump's tenure, Droegemeier also managed the National Science and Technology Council.

President Joe Biden named, and the Senate later unanimously confirmed,[15] Eric Lander as head of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, which is a cabinet-level post.[16] Lander resigned in February 2022 following reports that engaged in abusive conduct against both subordinates and other White House officials.[17]

In 2022, The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy held a roundtable discussion with some of the nation’s leading scientists to discuss the need to combat the climate crisis and counter arguments for delaying climate action. It is the first time that the White House has recognized scientists who study the climate denial operation run by the fossil fuel industry.[18]

On August 8th, 2022, President Joe Biden signed into law the CHIPS and Science Act which included a provision to create a blockchain and cryptocurrency specialist advisory position under the OSTP to be established and appointed by the Director.[19]


Key positions vary among administrations and are not always published online.[20] Current deputy directors are listed alphabetically by portfolio and do not indicate an order of rank.[21][22][23]

  • Director for the Office of Science and Technology Policy: Arati Prabhakar
    • Deputy Director for Climate and Environment: Jane Lubchenco
    • Deputy Director for Energy: Sally Benson
    • Deputy Director for Health and Life Science: [vacant]
    • Deputy Director for National Security: Morgan Dwyer (acting)
    • Principal Deputy Director for Policy: Kei Koizumi
    • Deputy Assistant to the President and Principal Deputy Director for Science and Society: Alondra Nelson
    • Deputy Assistant to the President and Chief Technology Officer of the United States: Alexander Macgillivray (acting)
    • Chief of Staff: Asad Ramzanali[24]


List of OSTP directors[25]
No. Portrait Name President Term
1 H. Guyford Stever Gerald Ford 1976–1977
2 Frank Press Jimmy Carter 1977–1981
Benjamin Huberman (acting) Ronald Reagan 1981
3 George A. Keyworth, II 1981–1985
John P. McTague (acting) 1986
Richard G. Johnson (acting) 1986
4 William Robert Graham 1986–1989
Thomas P. Rona (acting) 1989
William G. Wells (acting) George H. W. Bush 1989
5 D. Allan Bromley 1989–1993
6 John H. Gibbons Bill Clinton 1993–1998
Kerri-Ann Jones (acting) 1998
7 Neal F. Lane 1998–2001
Rosina Bierbaum (acting) George W. Bush 2001
Clifford Gabriel (acting) 2001
8 John H. Marburger III 2001–2009
Ted Wackler (acting) Barack Obama 2009
9 John Holdren 2009–2017
Ted Wackler (acting) Donald Trump 2017–2019
10 Kelvin Droegemeier 2019–2021
Kei Koizumi (acting) Joe Biden 2021
11 Eric Lander 2021–2022
Alondra Nelson (acting)[26] 2022
12 Arati Prabhakar[4] 2022–present

See also


  1. "White House science advisor Eric Lander sworn in on Pirkei Avot published in 1492". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. June 2, 2021. Retrieved June 2, 2021.
  2. Thompson, Alex. "'I am deeply sorry for my conduct': Biden's top science adviser apologizes to staff". POLITICO. Retrieved February 8, 2022.
  3. "White House unveils 'AI bill of rights' as 'call to action' to rein in tool". Retrieved October 5, 2022.
  4. "Senate Confirms Prabhakar to Lead White House Science Office". Retrieved October 5, 2022.
  5. "OSTP Issues Guidance to Make Federally Funded Research Freely Available Without Delay".
  6. Patel, Vimal (August 26, 2022). "White House Pushes Journals to Drop Paywalls on Publicly Funded Research". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 2, 2022.
  7. Chiang, Tsai-Chien (January 2013). Madame Wu Chien-shiung: The First Lady Of Physics Research. World Scientific. pp. 184–185. ISBN 9789814579131.
  8. Alemany, Jacqueline (November 21, 2017). "Donald Trump's science office is a ghost town". CBS.
  9. Morello, Lauren (October 24, 2017). "Wait for Trump's science adviser breaks modern-era record". Nature. doi:10.1038/nature.2017.22878.
  10. Aldhouse, Peter (January 18, 2017). "Trump's war on science isn't what you think". CBS.
  11. Reardon, Sara; Witze, Alexandra (July 31, 2018). "The wait is over: Trump taps meteorologist as White House science adviser". Nature. 560 (7717): 150–151. Bibcode:2018Natur.560..150R. doi:10.1038/d41586-018-05862-y. PMID 30087470.
  12. Irfan, Umair (August 1, 2018). "Trump finally picked a science adviser. He's a meteorologist. Named Kelvin". Vox.
  13. "President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate Personnel to a Key Administration Post". Retrieved August 5, 2019 via National Archives.
  14. Chappellet-Lanier, Tajha (August 1, 2019). "Michael Kratsios confirmed as US CTO". Fedscoop. Retrieved August 4, 2019.
  15. "Eric Lander Confirmed for Top White House Science Post | Inside Higher Ed". Retrieved June 2, 2021.
  16. "Biden elevates science post to level". Yahoo News. AFP. January 15, 2021. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  17. "White House science adviser resigns after probe found he bullied staffers". February 7, 2022.
  18. Joselow, Maxine (February 24, 2022). "White House science office to hold first event on countering climate change denial and delay". The Washington Post.
  19. Ryan, Tim (August 9, 2022). "Text - H.R.4346 - 117th Congress (2021-2022): Supreme Court Security Funding Act of 2022". Retrieved September 6, 2022.
  20. "Staff". via National Archives.
  21. "Eric Lander quits as Biden's top science adviser after bullying investigation". February 8, 2022.
  22. "The race to replace Lander at OSTP". Politico.
  23. "A Google billionaire's fingerprints are all over Biden's science office". Politico.
  24. "White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Announces New Chief of Staff | OSTP". The White House. Retrieved December 18, 2022.
  25. "Previous Science Advisors (1973–2009)". via National Archives.
  26. Ward, Myah. "Biden names 2 people to replace Eric Lander in top science roles". POLITICO. Retrieved February 17, 2022.
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