President Trump nominates Oklahoma professor, meteorologist to top science, technology position

NORMAN, Okla. – An Oklahoma professor and meteorologist has been nominated as the top science and technology adviser to the White House.

Officials say that President Trump has nominated Kelvin Droegemeier to be Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. The position, which has been vacant for the past 19 months, guides the president on issues like self-driving cars, artificial intelligence, emerging medical research and climate change.

Droegemeier is a meteorologist, and has been the Vice President of Research and Regents’ Professor of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma for the past nine years. He has been a member of the OU faculty for the past 33 years, according to Science Magazine.

The Washington Post reports that Droegemeier also aided the federal National Science Board under President George W. Bush and President Obama.

“I think he’s a very solid choice,” John Holdren, former director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy under Obama, told the Washington Post. “He’s been a serious climate scientist, and he’s been a serious science adviser to people in positions of influence.”

Sen. James Lankford and Sen. Jim Inhofe applauded the nomination.

“Dr. Droegemeier is an incredibly capable researcher and a highly qualified scientist,” said Lankford. “He has served Oklahoma well at the University of Oklahoma, and I am confident that he will serve our nation well as the new Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. The nomination process is long and difficult, but I am proud that a fellow Oklahoman has stepped up to help lead our nation at this time.”

 “Kelvin Drogemeier is a proven leader in science and technology and an excellent choice to lead the Office of Science and Technology Policy,” said Inhofe. “From his time as a professor and service on the National Science Board to his leadership as the Vice President for Research at the University of Oklahoma, he has demonstrated a commitment to the scientific process, an appreciation for investing in research and a dedication to advancing technical achievement. I congratulate Kelvin on his nomination and look forward to his swift confirmation.”

“Kelvin is an excellent choice for the role of Director at the Office of Science and Technology at the White House,” said Congressman Tom Cole. “His illustrious background will contribute enormously to this role, and to the White House’s key initiatives for science and technology. His work with the National Science Foundation and in meteorology has contributed immensely to the high-caliber research programs at the University of Oklahoma. In addition, he has testified before the Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee I chair several times and has offered invaluable advice on a wide array of issues relating to scientific research and the important role the federal government has in funding such efforts. I am thrilled for his nomination, and I look forward to his confirmation in the Senate.”

Gov. Mary Fallin released the following statement:

“I am excited about Dr. Droegemeier being selected for this presidential appointment. He is a leading expert in the science and engineering research fields, as well as in the education community. He has served my Cabinet well as secretary of science and technology. He is widely respected as a leader on both the local and national levels, especially in encouraging relationships among industry, academia, and government. He has used his skills and his broad depth of knowledge to create new partnerships to benefit all of Oklahoma, and I’m confident he will do the same on the national level.”