Indian-American scientist is appointed by Biden to the cabinet

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Arati Prabhakar, an Indian-American scientist, has been named by US President Joe Biden to run the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), according to a statement from the White House.

Following Vice President Kamala Harris in the present cabinet, the White House announced on Wednesday that Arati Prabhakar’s nomination had been sent to the Senate for approval.

She will also assume the positions of chief science and technology advisor to the President and co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. The White House gave Prabhakar credit for making mRNA-based Covid vaccines possible long before the crisis.

The development of a rapid-response mRNA vaccine platform and the “fastest safe and effective vaccine development in world history in response to Covid-19” were credited to Prabhakar’s leadership while she served as the director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) from 2012 to 2017.

She is “a brilliant and highly-regarded engineer and applied physicist,” according to Biden, who also called her “highly-respected.” She will head the OSTP and “leverage technology, science, and innovation to expand our possibilities, address our most difficult problems, and make the impossible possible,” he said.