Biden names two former Obama Cabinet members to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology Council

Image via

Tyler Dyer, News Editor

Penny Pritzker and Ashton Carter, two former Obama Cabinet members, were just named to Science and Technology, the White House announced Wednesday. They are among 30 experts who will advise the President on matters related to science and technology. According to the White House website, this is a “direct descendant of the scientific advisory committee established by President Eisenhower in 1957 in the weeks after the launch of Sputnik, PCAST is the sole body of external advisors charged with making science, technology, and innovation policy recommendations to the President and the White House.”

Biden has increased the diversity among this council, and now the current members represent the most diverse PCAST in U.S. history. Since 1957, PCAST has been co-chaired by the President’s Science Advisor and 1-2 external co-chairs. No women have ever served as co-chairs. President Biden’s PCAST has two women co-chairs reflecting the President’s commitment to building an Administration that genuinely represents America. For the first time, women make up half of PCAST, and people of color and immigrants make up more than one-third of PCAST. This increase in diversity will help the council bring to bear a wide range of perspectives so that science, technology, and engineering benefits all Americans.

Pritzker served during former President Barrack Obama’s second term in office as the 38th secretary of Commerce. She served from 2013 to 2017. during her tenure, Pritzker has worked hard and launched the Department of Commerce’s first initiative for skilled workforce training. She also helped expand broadband coverage to underserved and rural communities. Pritzker is currently the chair and founder of PSP Partners, a global private investment firm, and chair of the Board of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Carter was the 25th Secretary of Defense under Obama, replacing Chuck Hagel in 2015, and previously served as deputy secretary of Defense, where he focused on diversity in the armed forces. He worked to lift the ban on transgender service members, helped open up combat positions to women, and restored bridges between the Pentagon and America’s private-sector technology and innovation ecosystem. In addition to helping the Defense Department’s “strategic pivot” to the Asia-Pacific. Currently, Carter is the director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School and a professor of technology and global affairs at Harvard.