President Donald Trump has announced his intention to nominate Dr. Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan to serve as the next director of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). If confirmed, Dr. Panchanathan would be the agency’s 15th director. He would assume the office following Senate confirmation. He would replace Dr. France Cordova at the end of her term in 2020.
Following the announcement, Dr. Cordova said: “For five years, Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan has been a bold, energizing presence on the National Science Board and he was a leader in every sense of the word in the research community prior to that. I was delighted to learn that the White House named him as nominee to serve as the next director of the National Science Foundation. This position requires the ability to connect with all stakeholders in the U.S. science and engineering community, walking the fine line between serving and leading. Panch has the character and knowledge that make him an ideal fit for the job. As my own term draws to a close, I am heartened at the idea of Panch as my successor.”
Dr. Panchanathan has served as a member of the National Science Board – NSF’s governing body – since 2014. He currently heads the knowledge enterprise development at Arizona State University. In this capacity, he is responsible for advancing research, innovation, strategic partnerships, entrepreneurship, and global and economic development.
Panchanathan is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering. He is also the Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and the Society of Optical Engineering (SPIE). He is currently serving as the Chair-Elect in the Council on Research (CoR) within the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). Panchanathan was the editor-in-chief of the IEEE Multimedia Magazine and is also an editor or associate editor of many other journals.