Help wanted: federal science policy leaders

In recent weeks, several prominent leaders in the science policy community have announced that they will be leaving their current positions.  By the end of 2010, the National Science Foundation, the House Science and Technology Committee and NIH deputy director’s office will be seeking to fill several prominent positions.

After serving as the NSF director since 2004, Arden Bement will leave the NSF to head Purdue University’s new Global Policy Research Institute (GPRI) in June. 

Bement is the last senior science official currently serving who was appointed by the Bush administration.  His resignation gives Obama a chance to name his own NSF chief

In the interim, Bement is likely to be replaced in the interim by Cora Marrett, the current acting deputy director.

In Congress, the House Science and Technology Committee will lose a champion of the NSF and science education with the retirement of U.S. Rep. Vernon Ehlers, R-Mich., at the end of this term. 

Ehlers’ retirement comes at a challenging time for the committee.  In December, Chairman Bart Gordon, D-Tenn., announced that he would not seek re-election.

Even though Ehlers is leaving Congress after 17 years, the senior Republican plans to stay active in improving in science education and in promoting federal support for research.

In August, the NIH also will find itself with a leadership role to fill.  Deputy Director Raynard Kington will leave the institutes in July for the presidency of Grinnell College in Iowa.  Kington served as acting NIH director after Elias Zerhouni’s resignation in 2008.  Under his leadership as acting director, the NIH undertook efforts to spend the $10 billion it was allocated from the stimulus bill.

Read more about these leadership changes on ScienceInsider.

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