House Subcommittee Holds OSTP Oversight Hearing; Senate Confirms Nominee for Chief Technology Officer

On July 24, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) held an oversight hearing with the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), Kelvin Droegemeier. Members of the Subcommittee questioned Droegemeier on a variety of topics including the White House’s position on the human impacts of climate change, Trump administration priorities in research and development, the recent activities of several OSTP joint committees, ethical concerns such as foreign interference in research and bias in artificial intelligence, and potential partnerships between OSTP and other federal agencies. Drogemeier has been a vocal proponent of social and behavioral science research and cited the importance of “tackling the social and behavioral science dimensions” of critical issues. A recording of the hearing can be found on the CJS Subcommittee website.

Later that day, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation (CST) held a hearing concerning the nominations for several appointed positions including that of Michael Kratsios, nominee for Associate Director and Chief Technology Officer at OSTP. A week later on August 1, the full Senate officially confirmed Kratsios by voice vote to be the first Chief Technology Officer since 2017. Kratsios, who has been the de facto technology adviser at OSTP for two years, discussed with Committee Members his past work and policy plan for emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and 5G technology. The full nominations hearing can be found on the CST Committee website.

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