Monday, December 22, 2008

Obama's choices for the green team -- pretty good showing

Obama named John Holdren, an energy and climate specialist, as the new White House science adviser, heading the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.  Holdren is a Harvard University physicist who has focused on the causes and consequences of climate change and advocated policies aimed at sustainable development. He has also done extensive research on the dangers of nuclear weapons.  Holdren teaches at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and is a former president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Other choices:

Obama named Steven Chu, winner of the 1997 Nobel Prize in physics who was an early advocate for finding scientific solutions to climate change, to head the Energy Department.

He named former Environmental Protection Agency head Carol Browner for a new post that will coordinate White House policy on energy and climate change.

Obama named marine ecologist Jane Lubchenco of Oregon State University as his nominee for head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Obama also named two people to work with Holdren to lead the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, also known as PCAST. One of them, Eric Lander, is founding director of the Broad Institute, a collaboration of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University that focuses mapping the human genome.  The other is Harold Varmus, a former director of the National Institutes of Health who won a Nobel Prize for his studies on cancer and genetics. For the past nine years, Varmus has served as president and chief executive officer of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Obama previously named former Gov. Tom Vilsack, D-Iowa, for Agriculture Secretary; and Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., for Secretary of the Interior.

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