Kelvin Droegemeier

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Kelvin Droegemeier
Kelvin Droegemeier official photo.jpg
10th Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy
In office
January 11, 2019 – January 15, 2021
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byJohn Holdren
Succeeded byEric Lander
Acting Director of the National Science Foundation
In office
March 31, 2020 – June 22, 2020
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byFrance A. Córdova
Succeeded bySethuraman Panchanathan
Oklahoma Secretary of Science and Technology
In office
March 13, 2017 – January 11, 2019
GovernorMary Fallin
Preceded byStephen McKeever
Succeeded byKayse Shrum
Personal details
Born (1958-09-23) September 23, 1958 (age 62)
Ellsworth, Kansas, U.S.
EducationUniversity of Oklahoma (BS)
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (MS, PhD)
Scientific career
FieldsMeteorology
InstitutionsUniversity of Oklahoma
National Science Board
ThesisThe Numerical Simulation of Thunderstorm Outflow Dynamics (Gust Front, Kelvin-Helmholtz Instability, Wind Shear, Microbursts) (1985)
Doctoral advisorRobert Wilhelmson

Kelvin Kay Droegemeier (born September 23, 1958) is an American research meteorologist, most recently having served as Director of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Droegemeier is known for his research in predicting the development of extreme weather events, and previously served as Oklahoma Secretary of Science and Technology and the Vice President for Research at the University of Oklahoma. He currently is serving as Regents Professor of Meteorology, Roger and Sherry Teigen Presidential Professor, and Weathernews Chair Emeritus at the University of Oklahoma.

Academic career[edit]

Droegemeier was born on September 23, 1958 in Ellsworth, Kansas. He received a B.S. in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma in 1980. He then pursued graduate studies in atmospheric science at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, earning an M.S. in 1982 and a Ph.D. in 1985.[1] In 1985 he joined the faculty of the University of Oklahoma.[2][3]

Droegemeier's academic research has focused on extreme weather events. In the 1990s, he became known for research on computer simulations of thunderstorm development, drawing on advancements in both radar and computer technology.[4][5]

He went on to co-found two centers of the National Science Foundation: the Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms in 1989, and the Engineering Research Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere in 2003.[4][5] He also founded and directed the Sasaki Institute, a now-defunct[6] non-profit organization at the University of Oklahoma. In 2000 he started a weather technology company.[5] Droegemeier became Vice President for Research at the University of Oklahoma in 2009,[7] and held this position until August 2018.[8]

At the conclusion of his appointment at OSTP, Droegemeier returned to the University of Oklahoma, where he serves as Regents Professor of Meteorology, Roger and Sherry Teigen Presidential Professor, and Weathernews Chair Emeritus.

Political appointments[edit]

National Science Board photo (2014)

Droegemeier served on the National Science Board for 12 years during the George W. Bush and Obama administrations[9] beginning in 2004,[5] including as Vice Chairman during 2012–2016.[7] He was appointed Oklahoma Secretary of Science and Technology in March 2017.[7][10]

In August 2018, Droegemeier was nominated to be the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). The position had been vacant since January 2017. He was noted for being a strong supporter of federally funded research.[7][11] Droegemeier would be the first OSTP Director who is not a physicist.[7] Reaction to the nomination from the scientific community was generally positive.[4][11] Previous OSTP Director John Holdren called the nomination "a solid choice",[7][11] and American Association for the Advancement of Science CEO and former Democratic Congressman Rush Holt expressed approval of the nomination.[9] On September 5, 2018, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation voted unanimously to approve Droegemeier's nomination.[12] Droegemeier was confirmed by the Senate on January 2, 2019, the final day of the 115th United States Congress.[10][13] He was sworn in officially on January 11, 2019 and then ceremonially by Vice President Mike Pence on February 11, 2019.[14]

On March 1, 2020, Vice President Pence and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced the addition of Droegemeier to the White House Coronavirus Task Force.[15] Effective March 31, 2020, he was named Acting Director of the National Science Foundation following the end of France A. Córdova's term.[16][17]

Droegmeier returned to his professorships at the University of Oklahoma when President Trump left office in January 2021.

On March 29, 2021, President Biden announced a sweeping investigation into Trump-era politicization of science, including distortion, cherry picking, and disregarding scientific conclusions in the pursuit of policies across a wide array of federal agencies and departments. As head of the White House science office, Droegmeier’s role in this alleged activity will be one focus of inquiry.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Droegemeier, Kelvin Kay (1985). The Numerical Simulation of Thunderstorm Outflow Dynamics (Gust Front, Kelvin-Helmholtz Instability, Wind Shear, Microbursts) (Ph.D.). University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. OCLC 93235437 – via ProQuest.
  2. ^ "Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin appoints OU vice president to serve on cabinet". OU Daily. March 9, 2017. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  3. ^ "Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). University of Oklahoma. June 16, 2018. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Zimmer, Carl (August 1, 2018). "Trump Finally Picks a Science Adviser. And Scientists? They Seem Relieved". The New York Times. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d "Kelvin K. Droegemeier: Biography". National Science Board. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  6. ^ "History". University of Oklahoma School of Meteorology. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d e f 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.
  8. ^ K.S. McNutt (August 21, 2018). "Kelvin Droegemeier steps down as University of Oklahoma vp for research ahead of his U.S. Senate confirmation hearing". The Oklahoman.
  9. ^ a b "Trump appoints Oklahoma professor, meteorologist Kelvin Droegemeier to lead science policy office". CBS News. August 1, 2018. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  10. ^ a b Wingerter, Justin (January 2, 2019). "OU meteorologist Kelvin Droegemeier approved to be Trump's science adviser". NewsOK.com. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  11. ^ a b c Romm, Tony (August 1, 2018). "Trump intends to nominate extreme-weather expert for top White House science and tech role". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  12. ^ Reardon, Sara (September 5, 2018). "Trump science-adviser pick breezes through Senate committee vote". Nature. doi:10.1038/d41586-018-06196-5.
  13. ^ Morello, Lauren (January 3, 2019). "Donald Trump finally has a White House science adviser". Nature. doi:10.1038/d41586-019-00015-1. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  14. ^ Smith, Marcia (February 11, 2019). "Droegemeier officially sworn in as OSTP director". Space Policy. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  15. ^ "Vice President Pence and Secretary Azar Add Key Administration Officials to the Coronavirus Task Force". whitehouse.gov. Retrieved April 6, 2020 – via National Archives.
  16. ^ "Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier Named Acting National Science Foundation Director". www.nsf.gov. Retrieved April 11, 2020.
  17. ^ Mervis, Jeffrey (April 1, 2020). "White House science adviser Kelvin Droegemeier will also lead NSF—for now". ScienceInsider. Retrieved April 11, 2020.
  18. ^ "The Biden administration will investigate Trump-era attacks on science". www.nyt.com. Retrieved March 30, 2021.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
John Holdren
Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy
2019–2021
Succeeded by
Kei Koizumi (Acting)
Eric Lander