Sethuraman Panchanathan has been appointed the new director of the US National Science Foundation, having previously held executive positions at ASU.

The National Science Foundation (NSF), an independent federal agency set up by the US government to fund public research, has named Sethuraman Panchanathan as its new director.

Panchanathan was previously the executive vice-president and chief research and innovation officer at Arizona State University. He also recently completed a six-year term on the National Science Board (NSB), the body responsible for setting NSF’s policies.

As director of NSF, Panchanathan will oversee operations and 2,100 staff, including 200 scientists from research institutions on temporary duty. His appointment is expected to last for the typical six-year term.

Ellen Ochoa, chairwoman of the NSB, said: “We look forward to partnering with director Panchanathan and other leaders in science and engineering to implement our Vision 2030 Roadmap to keep America’s lead in fundamental research, ensure that US discoveries continue to empower US businesses and entrepreneurs, and increase Stem skills and opportunities for all Americans, especially groups who are traditionally underrepresented in Stem fields.

NSF was formed in 1950 by congress to promote “the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defence”. It currently has an annual budget of $8.3bn and funds approximately 25% of all federally-supported basic research within universities.

– Image courtesy of National Science Board