Office of Science and Technology Policy
Agency overview
FormedMay 11, 1976; 48 years ago (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 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.

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]


This section needs to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (March 2020)

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 8, 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]


List of OSTP directors.[22]

Image Name Start End President
Guyford Stever August 9, 1976 January 20, 1977 Gerald Ford
Frank Press January 20, 1977 January 20, 1981 Jimmy Carter
Benjamin Huberman
March 5, 1981 August 1981 Ronald Reagan
Jay Keyworth August 1981 December 1985
John McTague
January 1986 May 23, 1986
Richard Johnson
May 24, 1986 October 1, 1986
William Graham October 2, 1986 June 1989
Thomas Rona
June 1989 August 1989 George H. W. Bush
William Wells
August 1989 August 1989
Allan Bromley August 1989 January 20, 1993
Jack Gibbons January 20, 1993 April 3, 1998 Bill Clinton
Kerri-Ann Jones
April 4, 1998 August 3, 1998
Neal Lane August 4, 1998 January 20, 2001
Rosina Bierbaum
January 21, 2001 September 30, 2001 George W. Bush
Clifford Gabriel
October 1, 2001 October 28, 2001
Jack Marburger October 29, 2001 January 20, 2009
Ted Wackler
January 20, 2009 March 19, 2009 Barack Obama
John Holdren March 19, 2009 January 20, 2017
Ted Wackler
January 20, 2017 January 11, 2019 Donald Trump
Kelvin Droegemeier January 11, 2019 January 20, 2021
Kei Koizumi
January 20, 2021 June 2, 2021 Joe Biden
Eric Lander June 2, 2021 February 18, 2022
Alondra Nelson
February 18, 2022 October 3, 2022
Arati Prabhakar[4] October 3, 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. ^ a b "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. ^ "White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Announces New Chief of Staff | OSTP". The White House. Retrieved December 18, 2022.
  22. ^ "Previous Science Advisors (1973–2009)". – via National Archives.
  23. ^ Ward, Myah. "Biden names 2 people to replace Eric Lander in top science roles". Politico. Retrieved February 17, 2022.