The Senate on Friday voted unanimously to confirm Eric Lander, a biologist and mathematician, as director of the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), making him the first OSTP head to receive cabinet-level status.
He will become the 11th OSTP director and will serve as science adviser to President Biden, the White House said Friday.
“America’s future depends on science and technology like never before. In elevating OSTP to the Cabinet, President Biden made clear that science and technology will be central to solving the nation’s most urgent challenges,” Lander said.
Biden sent a letter to Lander in January to emphasize the importance of transforming the national strategy in science and technology and the need for science-based approaches to address climate change, health care and national security challenges.
The world-renowned scientist took part in the international Human Genome Project as a principal leader and established the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.
His contributions to the forensic science field helped lay the groundwork for the Innocence Project, a nonprofit legal organization that launched in 1992 with the goal to exonerate wrongful convictions through the use of DNA technology.
Lander also served as co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology during the Obama administration.